Tennessee Smart Yards

Keeping Tennessee’s land and water healthy, one yard at a time.

We call it a Smart Yard —

— a yard that is in balance with the local environment for the benefit of both people and our ecosystem.

Tennessee Smart Yards is an Extension-led program that guides Tennesseans on practices they can apply in their outdoor spaces to create healthier, more ecologically-sound landscapes and communities. Nine principles of stewardship serve as the foundation for the program and are explored in online modules and practical workshops taught by UT-TSU Extension and water resource professionals. 

You don’t have to be an expert gardener or landscaper to create a Tennessee Smart Yard. All it takes is a willingness to learn and a desire to take actions described in our Workbook. Maintaining a Tennessee Smart Yard provides natural functionality for homeowners through working with nature for the benefit of both. Learn why a “Smart Yard” is right for you and our environment.​

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Native Plant Database
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Over 800 native and commercially-available plants.
Path to Certification
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Click here to start your path towards a certified Tennessee Smart Yard.
Photo Library
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Get inspired by these smart yards.

I have so, so loved learning how easy and accessible it is to be environmentally friendly and “smart” about our yard!

Coffee County Certifier

Tennessee Smart Yards was developed through a partnership between the Tennessee Water Resource Research Center and UT-TSU Extension, with support from a 319 Nonpoint Source Program grant (2008-2012) from the Tennessee Dept of Agriculture. Materials were adapted from Florida Friendly Yards and Neighborhoods with permission.  The program is currently lead by UT-TSU Extension and local municipal government partners.