Left: Baywise sign - Cindy Heffley/USFWS. Right: Butterfly garden - USFWS.

What are BayScapes? 

BayScapes are environmentally-sound landscapes that benefit people, wildlife and the Chesapeake Bay. BayScaping advocates a holistic approach through principles inspired by relationships found in the natural world. The BayScapes program teaches homeowners and landowners how to practice conservation landscaping, conserve water, create diversity, use native plants, create wildlife habitat, use Integrated Pest Management and plan for the long term.

Why are BayScapes beneficial to the Chesapeake Bay and its wildlife? 

Conservation landscaping works with nature to reduce pollution and enhance wildlife habitat. The presence of native plant species can promote the presence of wildlife, such as hummingbirds and butterflies. It encourages a low input formula for yard care: less fertilizers and pesticides, proper lawn care and alternatives to turf. Wise management of soil, water and vegetation are essential to conservation landscaping. This includes creating a healthy vegetative cover, preventing soil erosion, and maintaining proper soil pH and fertility levels.

Can I "BayScape" my own backyard? 

Diversity in the landscape provides for the needs of people and wildlife. No matter how large or small an area, you can create diversity by utilizing different types of plants. Native grasses, ground covers, wildflowers, shrubs and trees provide a variety of shapes, colors, smells and habitats. Even very small or urban yards can be transformed using container gardens, patio and deck plantings and wall gardens for an aesthetically pleasing and dynamic landscape.

Learn more about the benefits of BayScape gardens and how you can start one.

What are we doing at Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge? 

We constructed a Bayscapes demonstration site funded by the Chesapeake Bay Trust at Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge. Using native plants, the project includes a wildflower garden, a living fence, and a water garden. Plants are grouped according to moisture and shade tolerance:

  • Woodland edge area where small shrubs create partial shade for herbaceous plants that can't stand the sun all day.
  • Dry meadow area with plants that prefer a drier environment.
  • Wetland area where plants preferring a very moist environment are planted adjacent to or in the water garden. Additionally, there are a number of water plants dispersed around the water garden creating a pleasant pond environment.

The garden was certified on June 13, 2007 as Bay-wise by the Master Gardeners of Queen Anne’s County. These Master Gardeners are associated with the University of Maryland’s Cooperative Extension. Two of the interns involved with the group are volunteers at the refuge and were instrumental in certifying the garden.

To be Bay-wise certified a landscape must use environmentally sound approaches including: 

  • Fertilize Wisely
  • Water Efficiently
  • Control Stormwater Runoff
  • Mulch Appropriately
  • Recycle Yard Waste
  • Manage Pests with Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
  • Plant Wisely
  • Encourage Wildlife Protect Waterfront

In addition to this garden being an example of a Bay-friendly landscape, it also proves to be a place of solitude and beauty for all who take time to visit. The refuge is fortunate to have a small group of volunteers who nurture and cultivate the garden as if it was their own.

See below for a complete list of the native plants selected for the Eastern Neck Bayscapes garden.

Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge Bayscapes Garden - Plant List 

Common Name (Scientific Name) 

Inkberry (Ilex glabra)
Coast Azalea (Rhododendron atlanticum)
Early Lowbush Blueberry (Vaccinium vacillans)
Butterflyweed (Asclepias tublerosa)
Blue False Indigo (Baptisia australis)
New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae)
Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium fistulosum)
Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)
Cinnamon Fern (Osmunda cinnamomea)
Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris)
Gayfeather (Liatris spicata)
Pink Coreopsis (Coreopsis rosea)
Blue Flag (Iris versicolor)
Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica)
N.Y. Ironweed (Vermonia noveboracensis)
Black-eye Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
Beebalm (Monarda didyma)
Eastern Columbine (Aquilegia canadensia)
Mist Flower (Eupatorium colestinum)
Virgins Bower (Clematis virginiana)
Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)
Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans)
Swamp Sunflower (Helianthus angustifolis)
Wrinkle-leaf Goldenrod (Solidago rugosa)
Sweet Fern (Comptonia peregrina)
Tickseed (Coreopsis verticillata)
Lizard's Tail (Saururus cernuus)