The Value of Signs in an Ecological Landscape

Kim Eierman

Kim Eierman

Founder of EcoBeneficial!

Available for virtual and in-person landscape consulting, talks and classes.

Buy a copy of
The Pollinator Victory Garden!

Get the Latest Buzz

Subscribe to EcoBeneficial Updates and get your free download of:
Top 20 Ways to Create an EcoBeneficial Landscape
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

The Value of Signs in an Ecological Landscape

How do you communicate to your neighbors why you have little or no lawn, why you have a diversity of native plants, why your trees are not topped, why your shrubs are not pruned into meatballs, why you leave your perennials and grasses standing through winter?

Many of our neighbors are baffled by our ecological landscapes – filled with diverse native plants that we allow to grow in their natural forms.  It can be particularly challenging when your yard looks completely different from all the others in your ‘hood.

Educate and inspire your neighbors with some signage which explains what the heck you are doing and why.  Go bold and post multiple signs that explain your “unusual” gardening practices.

Some of these signs are only available after you have applied and met certain criteria for your landscape, others signs are available for a small charge or a donation.   Fortunately most of the sign choices are relatively discrete while still being visible – so it won’t look like you have posted billboards on your property.

Get even bolder, take a step further and identify your native plants with zinc plant labels.   Intrigue the postman, the UPS delivery person, the meter reader, and curious neighbors with the botanical and common names of the great native plants you have planted in your yard.  You may see these folks taking notes!

Here are some great choices of signs and where you can get them.  Note that some are available nationally, and some only locally:

Pollinator Habitat sign from Xerces Society

Pesticide Free Zone sign from Beyond Pesticides

Certified Wildlife Habitat sign from National Wildlife Federation

Healthy Bees, Healthy Lives sign from Healthy Bees, Healthy Live

Monarch Way Station sign from Monarch Watch

Certified Butterfly Garden sign from North American Butterfly Association

Native Plant Butterfly Garden sign from Wild Ones (membership required)

Bird Habitat sign from Pennsylvania Audubon (local)

Backyard Habitat Certification sign from Audubon Society of Portland, OR (local)

Bird Habitat sign from Desert Rivers Audubon, Arizona (local)

If we want to encourage others to garden more ecologically, signage can be a huge help.  It won’t win everyone over (like those neighbors who have an abnormal fear of birds), but we can inspire many others to “find the beauty in ecological function” and plant that way.

If you have seen any great signs that I have missed, please write in and let me know.


From Kim Eierman at EcoBeneficial!

Photo: Xerces Pollinator Habitat Sign


  1. Green Bean on August 1, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    Great article. I have a NWF Wildlife Habitat sign and a No Pesticides sign on my front mailbox. I’ve gotten positive comments from several people and had a landscaper ask me where he could get the No Pesticides signs for his clients. I love having these signs because it is educating without being in your face. A perfect solution for this introverted activist.

  2. Kim Eierman on August 5, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Yours is a great example of how well signs can work! Thanks for sharing.

More from EcoBlog

Why Locally-Sourced, Locally-Grown Native Plants Matter

Have you visited your local farmer’s market lately or picked up your weekly allotment at a CSA?   If you are a locavore, like so many of us, you might be asking some pretty specific questions of your suppliers when you are vetting your food choices, such as: Where was this…

Read More
Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia)

Easy Native Perennials to Start from Seed: Economical and EcoBeneficial!

Biodiversity is critical to the health of ecosystems but species diversity is crashing and getting worse in the face of climate change.  How can you help?  Skip the clones of native plants (grown from cuttings or tissue culture) and plant native seeds to increase genetic diversity to support our challenged…

Read More

The American Gardener: Book Review of The Pollinator Victory Garden

Book Review from The American Gardener: The Pollinator Victory Garden: Win the War on Pollinator Decline with Ecological Gardening Kim Eierman, Quarry Books, Beverly, MA. 160 pages. Publisher’s price, paperback: $26.99 Having worked as a garden designer for 15 years, I’m aware of the importance of native plants, but communicating…

Read More