Russian River-friendly landscaping logo

It’s National River Month!

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

In addition to supporting the 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 of one of California’s most diverse ecosystems, the Russian River Watershed.

RRFLG’s 7 Practices and Principles include:

  1. Landscape Locally. Choose locally adapted low water-use plants that will thrive without excess water or fertilizers.
  2. Landscape for Less to the Landfill. Reduce landfill use by keeping green waste on site to be used as mulch or compost.
  3. Nurture the Soil. Foster a fertile, diverse living soil by applying compost and mulch.
  4. Conserve Water. Repair leaks and manage irrigation to reflect your plants’ seasonal needs.
  5. Conserve Energy. Plant native trees to increase shading and reduce wind disturbances.
  6. Protect Water and Air Quality. Minimize impervious surfaces, choose and maintain your gardening equipment, and more.
  7. 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 (https://rrwatershed.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/RRWA_River-Friendly-Plants_FINAL.pdf)! 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 that are 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 (https://westyost.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=892add5f0f2c4ecab1ecfe98d4cc13b8. )

More information on healthy gardens on the RRWA website:  https://rrwatershed.org/project/rrflg/

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

Apply for a sign in 4 Easy Steps:

  1. Review the RRFL Guidelines to ensure you incorporated all, or most, of the RRFLG Best Practices.
  2. Take pictures of your finished landscapes showing how they represent RRFLG Best Practices. (These will be used in the web application.)
  3. Visit the Russian River Watershed Association’s (RRWA) RRFLG Webpage to apply for a sign: rrwatershed.org/project/rrflg
  4. A 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 come together to coordinate regional programs for clean water, habitat restoration, and watershed enhancement.