Environmentally-Friendly Landscaping

Did you know? Residential yards and neighborhoods can benefit water quality, provide resources for wildlife and reduce resources (money, time, water, fertilizer, etc.). 

This page offers resources for people who would like to incorporate new approaches to their landscaping. The City of Burnsville also offers numerous workshops for an in-person learning experience.

What type of project is right for you?

  • Meadow lawn (or native planting): great for larger areas and having a high wildlife and water quality impact. 
  • Pollinator lawn: keep the lawn aesthetic and usability, while providing flowers for bees. 
  • Native garden: provides food and shelter for birds and pollinators even in small ’pocket plantings.’ 
  • Rain garden: improves water quality by reducing runoff from your property into the street. 
  • Shoreline restoration: reduces runoff into your lake or pond, and reduces erosion issues. 

It is important to follow City ordinances when installing a project. Follow the links to learn about the ordinances related to your project during the planning process.

prairie smoke
Clover and self heal. Credit - James Wolfin
native planting

Native gardenPollinator lawnMeadow lawn/Native planting

Planted native plants create a traditional garden look.

Mix of grass and low-growing flowers create a usable and beneficial lawn.

Native grass and wildflower seeds create a small meadow or prairie. 

Installation Cost
(per 100 sq. ft.)
~$100-$200 ~$50-$175~$200
InstallationRemove sod, plant, and mulchRemove sod and seed
-OR- Overseed into grass
Remove sod and seed
MaintenanceWeeding, spot mulching every few yearsWeeding, mowing (raise mower height), periodic overseedingWeeding, mowing every other year
Moderate environmental value, easy to maintain
Moderate pollinator value, less maintenance than traditional lawn
Highest environmental value, low maintenance long term
OtherBest for small areasBest where turf is still desiredBest for large areas
OrdinanceNo specific ordinance.  See related ordinance. Landscape plan not required. See related ordinance & how to submit the required landscape plan. 

Plant selection 

Choosing which plants to incorporate into your landscape can be a challenging task, as there are so many options! Here are some considerations when deciding plants:

  1. Choose native and local (within 100-200 miles) plants and seed.
  2. Choose plants that bloom at different times, so that from early spring to late fall there is always a floral resource for pollinators.
  3. Choose plants that benefit certain species, like birds, monarch butterflies or the endangered rusty-patched bumble bee.


Project installation

Plant selection 


Learn more about planting for pollinators in the Wildlife section.