River Friendly Yard Award

Annually, St. Johns Riverkeeper partners with local environmental nonprofits and native plant experts to recognize individuals or businesses that have implemented River Friendly landscaping and maintenance practices to reduce their impact upon the health of the St. Johns River and our environment. Eligible candidates for the Outstanding River Friendly Yard Award help to protect our waterways by using low-maintenance native plants, preventing stormwater runoff, and minimizing the use of irrigation, fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides.

2019 River Friendly Yard Award Finalists

St. Johns Riverkeeper, Earth Works, and Ixia Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society are thrilled to announce Shelley Gill as our 2019 OUTSTANDING River Friendly Yard Award grand prize winner! 

“If I can do it, anyone can do it.” 

A resident of Jacksonville, Shelley’s River Friendly story started when she accidentally over-fertilized her grass lawn and killed it. Through trial and error, she has started anew and has been working to make her yard a haven for her family, wildlife, and our River. Today, her yard maintains itself and brings color and life to her neighborhood. We hope Shelley’s story will inspire you to take steps to make your yard more River Friendly and maybe even enter the contest next year! 

Bill Berthet
Best River Friendly Yard: Wildlife Habitat

Take a behind the scenes tour of Bill Berthet’s incredible River Friendly hard. Bill has spent much of his life dedicated to learning and traveling the world to see butterflies. He’s documented 64 different species of butterfly in his yard alone and it’s easy to see why – he’s intentional with every plant and every placement. Sitting right on Julington Creek, Bill’s yard is a unique haven for wildlife and our River.

Cowford Realty & Design
Best River Friendly Yard Award: Small Business

Heather’s beautiful storefront plot is a community-driven project – every element of the garden was donated and volunteers got their hands dirty and their feet wet to make this vision a reality. An inspirational River Friendly model for the community to enjoy and look up to. And one that has inspired us to implement a River Friendly Yard planting volunteer program with small businesses and public spaces – stay tuned! 

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