Saanich Naturescape Program

Hot off the press! Check out the Saanich Naturescape Program Booklet. This 22-page resource provides information and ideas for how to start or further develop naturescaping on your property. 

Support Nature in Your Neighbourhood

Naturescape is a program and concept to create, maintain and enhance wildlife habitat and native biodiversity. It encourages creating diversity, layers and edges and using native plants on your property and in the re-design of landscapes. Saanich Council endorsed the principles of Naturescape and a plan for implementation in 2000.

Saanich has joined the UN in declaring 2021 to 2030 as the UN Decade of Ecological Restoration. This declaration calls upon everyone to get involved in “reviving damaged ecosystems”, address biodiversity loss in Saanich and mitigate the effects of climate change. Naturescaping is one way Saanich residents can participate and contribute. 

Basic principles

  • Stewardship
  • Create and preserve habitat
  • Preserve biodiversity
  • Conserve water     

Naturescaping is fun and can bring endless enjoyment of nature right in your backyard!  While being a steward of nature, you are also doing something that benefits your family’s health and potentially saving money (less water, mowing and other gardening expenses).

While we encourage you to use native plants, the main goal is to create habitat. We do recommend many non-native plants.

See our Naturescape brochure [PDF - 1 MB] for more information and use our Naturescape Yard Checklist [PDF - 259 KB] to make plans. 

Download provincial Naturescape resources from HCTF Education: Naturescape Provincial Guide and the Plant and Animal Guide for our region. 

Design ideas

You can make something as small as a window planter box or a larger butterfly garden plot with bright colours and interesting textures to create habitat. You can also create naturalistic designs to cover a large spread of land and recreate the feel of a natural meadow or woodland.

Your urban yard can become an extension of natural areas and provide valuable habitat for wildlife – as well as helping to create wildlife corridors across the landscape.

More benefits:

  • Save water
  • Reduce use of fertilizers
  • Eliminate pesticides and imported peat moss
  • Reduce mowing cost
  • Improve air quality and human health
  • Reduce cost of buying, planting and tending annuals
  • Reduce impact of invasive plant species
  • Support for regional plants and animals at risk
  • Help to define an image unique to our region

Benefits for Children

Have fun naturescaping with young people in your life.  Studies show that spending time in nature, playing and connecting with nature has many health and healthy development benefits for children, including:

  • Supporting creativity and problem solving
  • Improved academic success
  • Increased physical activity
  • Improved social relationships
  • Increased self-discipline
  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Increased confidence
  • Building a sense of wonder

Naturescape Information

Saanich Naturescape Resources

Bird Resources

Gardening with Native Plants

Other Naturescape Resources

Finding Native Plants