Bayscape Garden

The Gunpowder Valley Conservancy has designed conservation gardens since 2009 as part of watershed restoration projects.

Conservation gardens include rain gardens, Bayscape gardens, edible Bayscape gardens, and microbioretention practices. These gardens are attractive, practical, and can be sized to fit any yard or landscape. Designed to mimic nature, these gardens are comprised of hardy native plants that naturally provide food and habitat for species native to the Gunpowder watershed.

Click here for a printable brochure on Bayscape gardens

Click here for a printable brochure on edible Bayscape gardens

What is a Bayscape?

Bayscapes—a term coined by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay—are beautiful landscapes that protect local waterways. Bayscapes replace lawn with native plants that support wildlife, reduce landscape maintenance, and filter rain water from your yard, driveway, roof, or other hard surfaces. Bayscapes are strategically planted in areas that will intercept and filter rainwater, which in turn reduces water pollution, prior to the water entering a storm drain or nearest body of water, such as a creek.

Benefits of a Bayscape garden

Bayscapes, which feature native plants, are a low-maintenance alternative to traditional landscaping.

  • Less Water: Bayscape gardens typically require little watering during seasonal droughts. Unlike turfgrass, most native plants have deep root systems that can reach groundwater, making them less reliant on irrigation
  • Less fertilizer: Since native plants are adapted to Maryland's soils, they don't need as much fertilizer. Less fertilizer also means less nutrient pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.
  • Less lawn to mow!


Bayscapes are also beautiful and environmentally-friendly!

  • Beautify your yard with colorful native trees, shrubs, flowers, and/or grasses
  • Harvest fresh organic produce from your edible Bayscape
  • Provide habitat for native pollinators like hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies

Learn which native plants to add to your garden. Volunteer at a Bayscape workshop. No gardening experience required!

View examples of native plants used in Bayscapes

Get more clean water for your dollar!

The Gunpowder Valley Conservancy's Clear Creeks Project  has grant funding through 2021 to provide property owners with an 60% discount on the installation of a professionally-designed Bayscape or edible Bayscape! This offer is available for homeowners, businesses, religious institutions, HOA communities, and other organizations.

View our map to determine if your property is in the Clear Creeks Project area.

Complete this form to schedule a FREE Bayscape site assessment by Gunpowder Valley Conservancy staff

For more information, contact Darcy Herman, Gunpowder Valley Conservancy, Assistant Clear Creeks Project Manager.


"Using the information that I received at the [Rain Garden and Bayscape] design workshop, I planted 3 winterberry bushes on the water side of our house. Last Friday there were 8 bluebirds chowing down on the berries. Success! Natives rock!"

~ Mary Scott, Bowley's Quarters resident