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Creating a Legacy


Learning about, measuring and rewarding good stewardship and creating beautiful spaces

Every yard should be meaningful to the homeowner, significant for nature, doable by the family and fun for all.


Everybody loves the beauty and splendor of Mother Nature.  Maybe this is because nature teaches us the importance of time, the beauty of simplicity, the benefits of renewal, restoration and the value of place.


Quantifying the value of nature is complicated and unfortunately nature is often undervalued and taken for granted in our policy debates and everyday choices. But nature provides incredible benefits. Clean air and water, flood protection, fertile soil, recreational resources, energy conservation, biological control and pollination for both beauty and crop production, and enhanced property values are among the many benefits we receive from nature.  These important natural system services benefit our quality of life, health, lower cost of living and local economy. Once lost, these benefits are difficult and very costly to replace.  

When we recognize and understand how nature’s real value impacts our community and ourselves, we want to take action to preserve and enhance it. Quantifying the value of nature and helping others understand the significance of what nature provides is invaluable, not only today, but for future generations. Your legacy is up to you.


It is important to acknowledge the good work of many people and corporations who are making an environmental difference. Comstar Supply Company in Collegeville, Pennsylvania sponsors the annual Bird on a Wire Awards. Each month, backyard designs are submitted and the best design receives $100 that month.  At the end of the year, the best design is chosen by certified designers and the annual winner receives $400.


Learning about good nature stewardship and measuring and rewarding it, creates beautiful spaces.

Nature's benefits calculator for homeowners:  Ten measures that help homeowners understand nature's value to them. Click here to see how you measure up.

Backyard Conservation Design with Native Plants Basic Training Sign up:  A six-hour basic course on backyard conservation design. Each person receives a Designing With Nature CD. Cost $60. Click for details. Sign up now.


Backyard Conservation Design Certification Sign up: To become certified in Backyard Conservation Design, participants attend 10 weeks of training on-line in the evening, create two designs and volunteer to help others in their community with backyard conservation design. Cost $100.  Click for details. Sign up now.

Starting Dates: 

June 28th, 2016
September 20th, 2016

Backyard Conservation Design Certification Awards sponsored by Comstar Supply Company:  Awards for the best design submitted each month. $100 award. Awards begin March 1, 2016.

If you would like to submit a Backyard Conservation Design for consideration e-mail before the end of each month. Write BOWA submission on the subject line.

Submission requirements:

  1. Design goals
  2. Garden benefits
  3. Site plan and garden layout
  4. Plant list

Natural System Footprint Calculator—Would you like to be carbon, water, nutrient and pesticide neutral?  Here is how.