Eastside Pollinator Garden Project

Transforming Gardens into Pollinator Sanctuaries

With the Eastside Pollinator Garden Project, Eastern Sierra Land Trust is helping gardeners throughout Inyo and Mono counties create and certify their own pollinator-friendly spaces.

Start the process of certifying your yard or garden as a pollinator habitat today!

Bee Pollinator ProjectDo you know the secret to a blooming backyard? Sun and soil are important, but it’s bees, butterflies, and other pollinators that bring your garden to life year after year.

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 backyard to your dinner plate.

Yet bees and butterflies are disappearing. Impacted by disease, pesticides, and the loss of open spaces, pollinators like these are now in danger. And as they suffer, so too does the beauty and productivity of the land you love – and all the families and wildlife that call it home.

There’s good news, though. By creating a beautiful, blooming haven for pollinators in your yard, you can help keep the Eastern Sierra thriving for years to come.

Ready to certify your garden? Click here to get started!


Generous support for the Eastside Pollinator Garden Project has been provided by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.


Thank you to our advisors:

California Native Plant Society

Chalfant Big Trees Farm & Feed

Eastern Sierra Audubon Society

Inyo-Mono Master Gardeners

Metabolic Studio

Trestles Environmental Corporation


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 5 simple steps to the certification process:

  1. Review our certification criteria. If you decide the project is right for you, fill out our Eastside Pollinator Garden Project Interest Form.
  2. Contact us to schedule a Garden Consultation by emailing garden@eslt.org or calling (760) 873-4554. We'll meet with you to discuss your pollinator garden space, offer suggestions, answer your questions, and help get you started.
  3. Create your pollinator garden! Once your garden is underway, we'll schedule a Progress Check-In with you to help make sure you'll be eligible to receive a $125 voucher for native plant purchases.
  4. Pick up your free native plants at the Plant Sale. You'll receive 5 Showy milkweed plants (valued at $25) and a voucher good for $100 worth of other native plants of your choosing. Add these new plants to your pollinator garden.
  5. Show off your garden and receive your Pollinator Garden certification plaque at your Final Garden visit.

Click here to sign up for the Eastside Pollinator Garden Project!

Have additional questions? Email garden@eslt.org - we're here to help.

How We Can Help

The team at Eastern Sierra Land Trust is ready to help you make your garden come to life with pollinators. Signing up for the Eastside Pollinator Garden Project is completely free - and with your participation, you'll receive:

  • A complementary voucher for 5 Showy milkweed and $100 worth of additional native plants, available at the annual Native Plant Sale
  • A free Pollinator Garden certification plaque to display once your garden has met the certification criteria
  • Our recommended plant list, expert contacts, and online resources
  • Notifications about garden and pollinator workshops being held in our area

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 garden’s benefit to pollinators. Please note: we are only able to provide one certification per property.

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



  1. Three "Food" features
  2. Both of the two "Water" features
  3. Two "Shelter" features
  4. Within your designated Pollinator Garden area, 50% of the plants must be native to California, and preferably the Owens Valley (non-native plants, including vegetables, are encouraged in any quantity outside the Pollinator Garden space)
  5. No pesticide or herbicide use
  6. Minimal artificial lighting unless illuminating a structure or hazard

Food Features

Water Features

Shelter Features

  • Clump plantings:
    plant each variety in groups of three (excepting trees)
  • Seasonality: your garden has three different bloom times
  • Diversity: your garden has three different scents, three different flower types, and/or three different flower shapes.
  • One bird or butterfly feeder, such as:
    • Thistle feeders for Goldfinches
    • Fruit feeders for Orioles
    • Nectar feeders for Hummingbirds
    • Rotting fruit set out during butterfly migration
  • Larval host plants, such as: Milkweed, Indian Paintbrush, Mallow, Hollyhock, Dill, Sunflower, and more
  • One water source:
    • Wet irrigation ditches
    • Bird baths
    • Natural features (pond, creek, etc.)
  • One water conservation measure:
    • Mulching
    • Lawn removal
    • A drip irrigation system
    • Timers
  • Three canopy layers - for example, having flowers, shrubs, and trees all nearby
  • One natural shelter:
    • Bare ground
    • Dead wood
    • Brush piles
  • One constructed shelter:
    • Bird nesting boxes
    • Bat houses
    • Bee boxes
    • Bee nesting logs

Note: Limit of one certification per property.

Tips to Enhance your Pollinator Garden

  1. Planting with 4hPlant native wildflowers from our recommended plant list, and add shrubs and trees for diversity.
  2. Leave your earth bare: ground-nesting bees dig their nests in the dirt.
  3. Keep a moist, muddy spot available for butterflies - they get important nutrients and minerals from mud.
  4. Keep your cat indoors, build a "catio," or put a "Birdbesafe" collar or bell on your feline friend. Cats kill up to 3.7 billion birds each year!
  5. Reduce bird-window collisions by breaking up external reflections with stickers or plastic wrap.
  6. Help spread the word. Talk to your neighbors, family members, and friends about the project. By working together, we can keep pollinators thriving throughout the Eastern Sierra!

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