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Homeowner shares how they started landscaping trend in neighborhood to sway HOA: 'It makes me happy to be part of a healthy change'

"This process has taken time but it seems to be spreading."

"This process has taken time but it seems to be spreading."

Photo Credit: Reddit

A little education can go a long way, especially when it comes to explaining the benefits of a native plant and pollinator lawn compared to a classic green grass lawn.

A Reddit user in the r/NativePlantGardening subreddit posted images of their native plant lawn, which was adorned with signs explaining how their lawn benefits local biodiversity. Their use of signage helped other neighbors understand and encourage native plant lawns in their neighborhood, despite tricky homeowners association rules.

"This process has taken time but it seems to be spreading."
Photo Credit: Reddit

The Reddit poster went into detail on how they have worked with their HOA and neighbors to ensure that everyone understands the benefits of native plant lawns. 

Along with having signs in their yard that stated "our garden provides resources that increase the world's population of butterflies," they also sent informative photos and links about native plants directly to their HOA and simply talked to neighbors who were interested in their yard.

"There are a LOT more households doing versions of this in my neighborhood now. This process has taken time but it seems to be spreading … and it makes me happy to be part of a healthy change," wrote the original poster.

HOAs can be notoriously difficult to work with when it comes to straying from a classic green grass lawn. However, there are ways to enact change. Whether it is learning how to start the conversation with your HOA or beginning to research your local bylaws, steps can be taken to make sustainable changes to your home without getting fined by your HOA.

Additionally, states are beginning to recognize that resistance to sustainable projects from HOAs is derailing environmental benefits. In California, for example, AB 2104 was signed into law specifically allowing homeowners to plant "climate-appropriate landscaping" without getting fined by HOAs, per Surfrider. This is especially important in areas like Southern California that deal with droughts, as it allows homeowners to have drought-resistant lawns and use less water.

Commenters on the Reddit post were impressed and encouraged by the success of the OP's use of signage and how it led to more education and acceptance of native plant lawns.

"My HOA approved my garden, but they initially had a rule against yard signs. Fortunately, the city passed a law allowing yard signs and I did get to display my habitat hero sign," added one user.

"I wish you were my neighbor!!" praised another.

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