Enter to win a Climate-Friendly Yard Makeover and get expert help transforming your lawn into a native landscape that attracts pollinators, needs no fertilizer, requires less watering and could feed your family.

Missouri Organic Recycling (MOR) and its’ partners are hosting a Climate-Friendly Yard Makeover to demonstrate how a typical yard can become climate-friendly by adding native plantings, prairie patches, a pollinator garden, bioswale, berm, food forest, rain garden or vegetable garden.

“Our goal is to show homeowners the many ways they can enjoy the benefits of transforming a typical lawn into a garden that is also good for the environment,” said Kevin Anderson, an owner of MOR.

Most lawns have a negative impact on the environment compared to the rich and diverse landscapes they replaced. They require regular mowing, watering and fertilizer that pollutes the waterways and water tables.

“We don’t have to replace all of our lawns, but we can make a big change for the environment by devoting lots of small areas to more native landscapes,” said Stan Slaughter, MOR education and outreach director. “Experts estimate that 40 percent of all weather is based on local patterns. What if our region could moderate the ‘heat island’ effect with mini-forests and prairie plantings?”

Interested homeowners can apply for the Climate-Friendly Yard Makeover by completing an application that asks for a description of their yard and how they might like to change it. MOR will select three winners to receive a free landscape plan, planting day assistance, free organic compost and/or raised garden bed mix and mulch.

MOR has recruited several experienced native plant consultants to create the designs and supervise the installation. Sudden Gardens, a MOR service that advises on building raised beds, will assist with vegetable gardens.

Three winners will be selected by Earth Day, April 22. After the initial design consultation, they will be asked to purchase the recommended plants and will be given plant resources and information.

“Winners may be able to receive some plants through donations or informal sharing,” said Slaughter.

After the installation, homeowners are required to water the plants until they are established and provide basic garden maintenance to keep the garden tidy. Winners will also participate in a filming of their project planning, installation and at least one progress follow-up visit.

“We hope this empowers citizens to ‘do something’ about climate change at home,” said Anderson. “By publicizing the need for these changes, showing how they are accomplished and introducing practitioners and resources, we hope to make a climate-friendly yard makeover a familiar and accessible option for homeowners and turf managers regionwide.”

MOR will be creating videos of each winning property to show the process from beginning to end that will be available online. Makeover applicants who are not selected will also receive online guidance and resources to create their own climate-friendly garden.

The application deadline is Thursday, April 7. To learn more and enter the contest, go to Climate-Friendly Yard Makeover.

Additional makeover partner resources include: