Russian River environment: It’s National River Month

Russian River environment: It's National River Month

Show your neighbors your support of the Russian River ecosystem by making your landscaping Russian River friendly!

Support the Russian River ecosystem from your yard by following the Russian River-Friendly Landscaping Guidelines (RRFLG) (, and apply for a beautiful sign to display in your landscape.

Prevent harmful pesticide runoff into the river by incorporating less toxic pest management products from your local stores recommended by Our World, Our Water (OWOW)

Check out the RRWA Watershed Atlas to see the Russian River Watershed Demonstration Gardens that have received an RRFLG sign and OWOW Locations for local stores to purchase low-toxicity pest management products. (

In addition to supporting the health of our ecosystem, following the RRFLG can also help decrease maintenance and water usage in your garden.

What does the RRFLG Sign imply?

The RRFLG identification sign is a symbol for landscapes constructed and maintained following RRFLG in order to support one of California’s most diverse ecosystems, the Russian River Watershed.

RRFLG’s 7 Practices and Principles include:

  • Landscape Locally. Choose locally adapted low-water-use plants that will thrive without excess water or fertilizers.
  • The landscape for Less to the Landfill. Reduce landfill use by keeping green waste on-site to be used as mulch or compost.
  • Nurture the Soil. Foster a fertile, diverse living soil by applying compost and mulch.
  • Conserve Water. Repair leaks and manage irrigation to reflect your plants’ seasonal needs.
  • Conserve Energy. Plant native trees to increase shading and reduce wind disturbances.
  • Protect Water and Air Quality. Minimize impervious surfaces, choose and maintain your gardening equipment, and more.
  • Create and Protect Wildlife Habitat. Diversify your garden with California native plants and manage it organically to conserve wildlife habitat.

To landscape locally, plant Russian River-Friendly Plants (! Add texture or color to your landscape with beautiful alternatives like Dwarf Coyote Brush, California Lilac, California Fuchsia, or a LID feature, like a rain garden or bioswale, which can be designed to protect the rivers by treating stormwater before it goes into the creeks. These are only a few of the many plants native to California, non-invasive, require little to no water or fertilizer, and are well-suited to thrive in the conditions of the Russian River Watershed.

To manage pests while protecting our watershed, purchase low-toxicity products from an identified OWOW location, where Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is encouraged to consumers in nurseries and hardware stores. Find a store near you on the RRWA Watershed Atlas

More information on healthy gardens on the RRWA website:

Have you taken steps for your garden to become a Russian River-Friendly Landscape?

Apply for a sign in 4 Easy Steps:

Review the RRFL Guidelines to ensure you incorporated all, or most, of the RRFLG Best Practices.

Take pictures of your finished landscapes showing how they represent RRFLG Best Practices. (These will be used in the web application.)

Visit the Russian River Watershed Association’s (RRWA) RRFLG Webpage to apply for a sign:

An RRWA staff member will reach out to you about your application. Along with your free sign, your landscape will be showcased on the Russian River Watershed Association’s online interactive map and webpage.

This article was authored by Emma Erickson, RRWA staff, on behalf of RRWA. RRWA is an association of local public agencies in the Russian River Watershed that have coordinated regional programs for clean water, habitat restoration, and watershed enhancement.


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About the Author: Janice

Janice is a full-time mom who likes to write on a range of topics in her spare time. She specializes in the Home, Garden, and Recycling topics. Janice is our Lifestyle and positive vibe expert. She keeps the office running.