With more people living in Urban areas it becomes vitally important to implement conservation practices that help protect our waterways, riparian areas, aquatic habitat, wildlife, and public health to minimize our impacts on the natural environment. Many of these practices work to reinstate and mimic the natural systems that were functioning prior to the land being developed. The Marion SWCD can assist urban landowners in identifying conservation opportunities and ideas on mitigating environmental concerns.

communityGardenTour_2012_15 Resources

Low Impact Development

Low Impact Development Center

The Low Impact Development Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of Low Impact Development technology.

Greywater Action

This site provides information on greywater recycling systems, rainwater harvesting, composting toilets and more. Learn about the many ways you can conserve water at home.

Washington Stormwater Center

Provides a list of resources related to low impact development, rain water harvesting, and rain gardens. Also houses data and research developed out of the Washington State University’s Low Impact Development Research Program.

EPA: Low Impact Development

The EPA provides fact sheets, reports, guidance manuals, information resources and videos on Low Impact Development. Also, links to a kid friendly page on polluted runoff.

Urban Agriculture

Living Culture: Local Food and Farming news

Living Culture is a television series that showcases cuisine and agriculture in the Willamette Valley and Pacific Northwest. Their mission is to generate interest in local foods through inspiring and positive media.

Beginning Farmers: Urban Farming

Provides an extensive list of resources on urban farming and many other topics related to farming; permaculture, composting, goat farming and more.

Urban Forestry

Friends of Trees

Friends of Trees’ mission is to bring people in the Portland-Vancouver and Eugene-Springfield metro areas together to plant and care for city trees and green spaces. Provides resources on Urban Forestry and opportunities for getting involved.

USDA Forest Service: Urban Community Forestry

They work to ensure more livable communities by caring for trees and forests where people live, work, and play. They also provide resources and up-to-date information on urban forestry practices and projects around the country.

Sustainable Landscapes


OSU Extensions: Gardening

A garden calender can be found here that provides information on when to plant specific crops and manage your home garden. It also provides gardening tips and short audio clips from Master Gardeners on many gardening topics.

City of Seattle: Natural Lawn and Garden Care

This site provides resources on rainwater harvesting, natural lawn care, salmon friendly gardening and growing food in the city.

Eartheasy: Xeriscape

Learn about the practice of Xeriscaping, developing creative landscapes that conserve our waters.

NRCS: Urban Soil Primer

Provides an introduction to urban soils for homeowners and renters, local planning boards, property managers, students, and educators.

Sustainable Lawncare Information Series

This information series is out of the University of Minnesota and provides information on managing lawns in a sustainable way.

Backyard Habitat

Backyard Habitat Certification Program

In addition to explaining the requirements for this program, which is currently only offered in Portland, Gresham and Fairview, within Multnomah County, and the City of Lake Oswego, it provides resources on how to implement and manage backyard habitat.

The Metropolitan Field Guide

Provides a comprehensive list of links to websites and documents related to Urban Wildlife Habitat.

Garden for Wildlife: Making Wildlife Habitat at Home

Describes in detail the requirements for creating a wildlife-friendly garden at home. Provides additional resources on creating habitats in other contexts like at school and on campus.

Sustainable Living

Sustainable Salem

This site works to connect Salem residents with reliable energy efficiency information and incentives. It also provides tips and information related to the city’s projects and plans related to sustainability.

Metro: Sustainable Living

Provides information on making the region greener at home, in your garden, at the store and on the road.

At-Home Water Conservation Guide

This site provides facts and tips for conserving water at home, water conservation activities for kids, information on water conservation tools and equipment and ways to conserve water in your backyard.