Managed Natural Landscapes
The installation and maintenance of managed natural landscapes is beneficial to the city’s environment and stormwater management plans. Managed natural landscapes improve stormwater retention, increase water quality and biodiversity of plants, birds, butterflies and other beneficial insects and species. An owner, authorized agent, or authorized occupant of any privately owned lands may, consistent with Ordinance 99.21, and all other applicable laws, rules and ordinances, install and must maintain their managed natural landscape.
Through careful planning and design, environmentally-friendly landscape management can protect the environment with use of practical turf areas and mulches, appropriate plant selection, efficient water use, and maintenance.
A managed natural landscape means planned, intentional, and maintained plantings of native and non-native plants in a design intended to exhibit the character and spirit of nature by arranging the plants and drainage patterns like the arrangements of natural prairie, woodland, or wetland plant communities and drainage.
Requirements for Managed Natural Landscapes
- May include plants and grasses in excess of eight inches in height and which have gone to seed, but may not include any noxious weeds, as defined by the Ohio Director of Agriculture, and must be maintained so as to not include unintended vegetation or turf grass.
- May not include any plantings, which due to location and manner of growth constitute a hazard to the public or may cause injury or damage to person or property when such growth is in violation of pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
- May not include turf grass lawns left unattended for the purpose of returning to a natural state.
- With the exception of trees, all vegetation in the right-of-way strip between the sidewalk and street must be kept at a height of less than eight inches.
- All landscape material that is part of managed natural landscape shall be maintained in a healthy condition. Any plant materials such as shrubs, trees, and groundcovers that die, are in decline, or supporting less than 50% healthy leaf growth shall be removed or replaced.
- Managed natural landscaped areas shall not be permitted to encroach onto any public or private properties, or public sidewalks, streets, or alleys adjacent to the property on which they are planted.
Resources for Proper Installation of Managed Natural Landscapes
The City has compiled a list of online resources for proper installation and maintenance of managed natural landscapes. For additional guidance, residents may contact the City's Natural Resources Manager, Cinda Stutzman at Email Cinda.
- Wild Ones Provides list of plants native to this area and plans for installation, hosts & promotes local native plant sales, hosts educational webinars, and more.
- Wood County Park District Hosts an annual native plant sale in the spring, provides educational programming, demonstrates native planting in all parks.
- Toledo Zoo - Wild Toledo Hosts native plant sales, provides education on installing native plants, works with communities to establish native areas.
- Clear Choices, Clean Water Take the pledge to plant natives for clean water & explore the benefits. Free native plant garden landscaping designs.
- Xerces Society, Pollinator Plants: Great Lakes Region (PDF)
- An Introduction on Converting Lawn to Prairie Gardens (YouTube) Benjamin Vogt, Monarch Gardens, LLC
- The Top Ten Things New Native Gardeners Need to Know (YouTube) Noted Illinois horticulturalist, gardener, and educator Ken Williams shares his gardening wisdom.
- Simple ways to Avoid Fines Benjamin Vogt, Monarch Gardens, LLC
- Be BRASH about Planning for Nature
- National Wildlife Federation Neighbor Friendly Wildlife Gardening (PDF) Avoid conflicts with your neighbors by explaining natural landscaping.
- Rain Gardens The rain garden temporarily stores stormwater, slowing runoff and reducing flooding, while providing habitat for bees and other pollinators.
- Designing Natural Landscapes Garden (PDF) Design with Native Prairie Plants, Prairie Nursery
- Garden Designs, Marianist Environmental Center: Restoring Communities of Land and People Garden plans to get you off on the right foot.
- Right Plants, Right Place, Right People: Restoration and Resiliency at the University of Toledo (YouTube) Dr. Todd Crail, University of Toledo, Toledo Naturalist Association
- Ohio Invasive Plant Council: Invasive Plants of Ohio
- Bird Friendly Communities: Audubon Society Get to Know These 20 Common Types of Native Plants, Carlyn Kranking
Homegrown National Park Catalyzing a collective effort of individual homeowners, property owners, land managers, farmers, and anyone with some soil to plant in…to start a new HABITAT® by planting native plants and removing most invasive plants.
- Bringing Nature Home, 2007, Douglas W. Tallamy
- Planting in a Post Wild World, 2015, Thomas Rainer and Claudia West