Keeping Tennessee's water clean, one yard at a time!


We call it a Smart Yard — a yard that is in harmony with Tennessee's native flora, soil and topography.

Tennessee Smart Yards (formerly Tennessee Yards & Neighborhoods) is a University of Tennessee-led program that guides and assists Tennessee residents and neighborhood associations on practices they can apply in their yards and common spaces to create healthier living spaces and communities.  Nine fundamental principles of sustainability serve as the cornerstone for the program and are being incorporated into an ever-broadening selection of popular and practical workshops taught by UT Extension and water resource professionals.  Our courses aim to help homeowners achieve a landscape that reflects their values, desires and needs, while ensuring the protection of our state's waterways.

You don't have to be an expert gardener or landscaper to create a Tennessee Smart Yard. All it takes is a willingness to learn and a desire to build a yard that is based on its nine principles found in our handbook:

  • Right plant, right place
  • Manage Soils and Mulch
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
  • Water efficiently
  • Use fertilizer appropriately
  • Manage yard pests
  • Reduce storm water runoff and its pollutants
  • Provide for wildlife
  • Protect water's edge