Eastside Pollinator Garden Project

Transforming gardens into Pollinator Sanctuaries

With the Eastside Pollinator Garden Project, ESLT is certifying pollinator habitats throughout Inyo and Mono counties. Start the process of certifying your yard or garden as pollinator-friendly today!

Bee Pollinator Project

What's for dinner? Without pollinators, your options might be few. With one third of our food supply and at least 80% of the world's flowering plants depending on pollinators, their impact can be felt everywhere from your plate to your backyard. Pollinators are essential to a healthy environment, and - from wildflowers to working farms - the Eastern Sierra relies heavily on them. But pollinator populations everywhere are in decline, impacted by pathogens, parasites, pesticides, and the loss of open spaces.

Eastern Sierra Land Trust is committed to permanently safeguarding this special place we call home. By working with our communities to create pollinator habitat and encourage land stewardship, ESLT hopes to keep the Eastside blooming, year after year.

Click here to download the project brochure and learn more.

Ready to certify your garden? Click here for the Required Forms page.

Support for this project is provided by:

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

California Native Plant Society

Chalfant Big Trees Farm & Feed


Start Your Eastside Pollinator Garden Today

Our Eastside Pollinator Garden Project is now certifying gardens and working lands throughout Inyo and Mono Counties. There are 8 simple steps to the certification process:

  1. Determine the nature of your site. Are you certifying your garden or your yard?
  2. Review our certification criteria, resources and benefits.
  3. Contact us. Sign up here or call us with questions to get started at (760) 873-4554.
  4. Develop a plan. We have resources and experts available to help your garden come to life.
  5. Create a pollinator habitat!
  6. Send us photographs of your completed pollinator habitat and fill out the final checklist.
  7. Certify your pollinator garden! Once complete, we will review your documents and send you a plaque to display near your garden and show your commitment to preserving our native pollinator habitats. You'll also receive 5 Showy Milkweed and a voucher good for $100 worth of native plants.
  8. Stay in touch. We’ll provide you with additional resources as our project moves forward. We’ll also invite you to be part of special events such as garden tours and citizen science projects.

Click here to sign up!

Have questions or concerns? Email indigo@eslt.org to be added to our Eastside Pollinator Garden Project mailing list and receive more information.

How We Can Help

Your backyard can support a rich community of pollinators. We will connect you to resources and provide you with recommendations to help your garden come to life.
Program participants receive:

  • Recommended plant list, expert contacts, and online resources
  • Notifications about special workshops
  • Free certification plaque

Click here to start your Eastside Pollinator Garden today!


Garden Certification Criteria

We have created certification criteria to help guide your landscaping plans and maximize your space’s benefit to pollinators. Community-based gardens must meet a minimum of silver certification. Please note that we are only able to provide one certification per property.

To download the Garden Certification Criteria as a PDF, click here >>



  1. Three features from Column 1
  2. Three features from Column 2
  3. Two features from Column 3
  4. Two features from Stewardship
  5. Plants native to California (preferably  the Owens Valley) make up 50% of garden
  6. No pesticide/herbicide use

Pollinator Habitat Creation

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

  • Pollinator Syndromes
    Planting for 2 species
  • Clump plantings (minus trees)
    Plant in threes
  • Seasonality
    3 Bloom times
  • Diversity
    3 Scents, colors
  • 1 Wildlife feeder
    (Bird feeder placement is important and should discourage predation and taming)
    • Thistle feeders to attract Goldfinches
    • Fruit feeders to attract Orioles
    • Nectar feeders to attract Hummingbirds
    • Other feeder types
    • Rotting fruit during butterfly migration
  • Larval development plants
  • 1 Source
    • Birms
    • Ditches
    • Bird baths
      (Clean monthly &
      have 1 sloping side
    • Natural features
  • Soil appropriate planting
  • No herbicide/pesticide use
  • 1 Water conservation measure
    • Mulching
    • Lawn removal
    • Xeriscape
    • Responsible drip systems
    • Timers
  • 3 Canopy Layers
    • Flowers
    • Shrubs
    • Trees
  • 1 Natural shelter
    • Bare ground
    • Dead wood
    • Brush piles
  • 1 Constructed shelter
    (Clean annually &  placement conscious)
    • Avian nesting boxes
    • Bat houses
    • Bee boxes or nesting logs


  • Reduce bird-window collisions by breaking up external reflections with stickers or plastic wrap
  • Reduce outdoor lighting
  • Have indoor cats/build a catio or bell your kitty
  • Allow garden to be showcased in a tour
  • Recruit a new participant
  • Volunteer for the certification program
  • Participate in a citizen science project

Note: Limit of one certification per property.

Tips to Kick-start your Garden

Planting with 4hPollinator Garden Basics:

  1. Plant a pollinator patch. Choose native wildflowers from our recommended plant list.
  2. Leave your bare earth bare. Ground-nesting bees dig nests that are nothing more than small holes surrounded by a mound of dirt.
  3. Tell a friend. Talk to your neighbors, family members and friends about the project and connect pollinator habitats. Help bring the pollinators back!

Taking Your Garden to the Next Level:

  1. Divide the bare ground in two and keep one half moist and muddy-- butterflies get important nutrients and minerals from mud (called puddling) and native bees burrow in the ground.
  2. No kitty? Hang a bird feeder. Make sure to properly place it and purchase recommended seed.
  3. Turn off your outdoor lights at night. Not only will you save on your electric bill, you will keep the nocturnal pollinators and their host plants in their natural rhythms.
  4. Plant a shrub/tree to complement your wildflower patch. Such an investment will add to the diversity of your landscape and provide shelter for birds and other pollinators. Refer to our recommended plant list for more information.

Ready to get started? Click here to sign up
for the Eastside Pollinator Garden Project.

Click here if your pollinator habitat is complete
and you would like to certify your garden.