Gardening & Landscaping

Photo by S. Stockburger, 2013

There are over 7,000 homes in the Lake Whatcom Watershed. The choices you make taking care of your yard and landscaping play an important role protecting Lake Whatcom.

Did you know...

There is a keep connection between activities in your yard and water quality in the lake. Everything on the ground--from fallen leaves, grass clippings and pet waste to fertilizers and herbicides--can be carried by stormwater runoff into the lake. These materials contain phosphorus, which feeds algae growth and contributes to low dissolved oxygen levels in the lake. Preventing even small amounts of phosphorus from getting into the water can make a big difference.

You can help!

Use a fertilizer with zero phosphorus

To help reduce the amount of phosphorus entering the lake, Whatcom County and the City of Bellingham passed regulations prohibiting the use of phosphorus containing fertilizers on lawns in the Lake Whatcom watershed. Check fertilizer labels. They list three numbers that represent (from left to right) the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium level. Choose products with a zero listed as the central number.

Follow Lake Whatcom watershed gardening guidance

Lake Whatcom Management partners developed a list of recommendations for gardening in the Lake Whatcom watershed.

Yard waste disposal

It may not seem intuitive, but yard waste can cause pollution. You are required to manage it properly. Placing it near ditches and roads or creeks or the lake is illegal and causes pollution.

Learn about natural yard care

Building healthy soils and reducing watering and yard chemicals are key to protecting Lake Whatcom. A variety of natural yard care practices are available to help you keep your yard—and the lake—looking good. Visit these website for helpful tips and information.