Ugliest Yard Competition Raising Awareness of Drought Tolerant Plants

The City of San Francisco is asking residents to compete to see who has the ugliest yard in town as a way of raising awareness for drought tolerant landscaping options.

The competition is being held as a kick off event for the newly launched SF Plant Finder database at, which provides information about drought tolerant plants that do well on the Peninsula, according to the Department of the Environment.

The database is a community resource developed by the city’s Planning Department to help gardeners and homeowners enhance San Francisco’s urban ecology also while conserving water. The plants in the database are mostly San Francisco natives that are well adapted to the local climate, according to the department.

San Francisco residents are invited upload photos of their ugly yards with a caption explaining why their yard needs a landscaping makeover. To upload ugly-yard photos, go to the Department of the Environment’s website at or the department’s Facebook page at

The contest started April 2 and ends May 15.

All contestants will receive a free packet of native plant seeds for participating. Three first-prize winners will get a free consultation with the department’s senior biodiversity coordinator and enough native plant seeds to makeover a 500 square foot yard.

The grand-prize winner will receive a free yard makeover with drought tolerant native plants from Madrono Landscape Design studio.

First-prize winners will be determined based on the number of votes received by each submission. The grand-prize winner will be selected by a panel of judges, according to the department.

Dave Brooksher, Bay City News

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