Rowlett Smart Yard

Rowlett Smart Yard

Rowlett Smart Yard winners! 

Congratulations to Lewis Frias & Family and Ellen Schwab & Family, who were recently named as the Rowlett Smart Yard Winners for Spring 2023. 

Thank you to both families for their outstanding efforts in building environmentally friendly gardens. These two family gardens are not only prime habitats for pollinators, but there are evident smart yard practices used such as composting, no pesticides use, mulching, and water conservation. 

Here is more about the two families! 

 Lewis Frias & Family

  • Lewis is a master gardener passionate about small-acreage agriculture and education. He is also involved with the Rowlett Community group called - Take a Plant Leaf a Plant.
  • The family is a community advocate that teaches others how to grow and share.
  • They host and maintain a local plant stand and share garden supplies with the community.  
  • The family works with GISD schools to create vegetable gardens with crops that can be used to prepare meals for students (farm to table). 
  • The family's future plans are to add more bee habitats and learn more about rainwater catchment systems.


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Take a look at more photos and information about the Frias family's gardening practices here.  

Ellen Schwab & Family

  • Ellen is a master gardener.
  • She started her butterfly garden at the beginning of COVID.   
  • Ellen uses the lasagna method of putting cardboard down, which attracts worms and kills unwanted grass, then adds a layer of compost and tops it with mulch.   
  • She has a variety of plants that attract pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. 
  • Ellen's plants are low maintenance and have low water requirements. She does use drip irrigation when necessary. 
  •  The family does not use pesticides in the garden. 
  •  The garden contains birdbaths for birds to bathe, and for other pollinators to drink water. 
  • Ellen's Garden is truly a safe place for pollinators. 


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Rowlett Smart Yard 

Rowlett Smart Yard is a program dedicated to the community that allows us, Neighborhood Planning, to recognize residents and business owners that apply environmentally friendly landscaping practices that can save time and money, conserve water, and reduce yard waste and chemical use by simply putting nature to work in Rowlett yards and gardens. We encourage the development of integrated pest management (IPM) plans or using earth-kind principles that can improve the health and appearance of lawns and gardens while protecting and preserving our natural resources. Harvesting rainwater is also highly encouraged to help reduce water usage and save money while at the same time helping to improve local water quality and reducing streambank erosion and flood risks. So let's get started! If you or a neighbor have an environmentally friendly yard or garden that is worth recognizing let us know today. We will recognize the yards/gardens here for a month!


Rowlett is a Bee City USA Affiliate!

In 2021, the City of Rowlett became an affiliate of Bee City USA®, an initiative created by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, to help communities sustain and reverse pollinator decline. For more information about the City of Rowlett's commitment to sustaining pollinators, visit the Rowlett Bee City webpage.


Rowlett Smart Yard Rowlett Smart Yard Selection Criteria 

The Texas Smart Yard nominee must meet the same selection criteria as Yard of the Season in addition to the environmentally-friendly practices mentioned below. 

  • A landscape with a variety of native plant species, planted in the right location
  • Wise management of soil and moist
  • Reduce stormwater and its pollutants
  • A landscape with a variety of plant species that attract a variety of pollinators
  • Practice Integrated Pest Management methods that avoid the routine use of pesticides
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

The City of Rowlett's commitment to environmental education and awareness  

The City of Rowlett fosters broad-based community engagement in environmental awareness and sustainability initiatives starting with Rowlett Smart Yard, Tree City, and Bee City USA® affiliates.

The City of Rowlett has chosen to support and encourage healthy pollinator habitat creation and enhancement by joining Bee City USA® in the efforts to sustain pollinators by creating, restoring, and conserving healthy habitats, rich in a variety of native plants and free to nearly free of pesticides. 

Environmentally friendly landscape practices help keep pollutants out of our watershed, reduce the amount of waste that must be treated, and provide habitat for pollinators, which are essential to every ecosystem on earth. 

To all Rowlett citizens and the business community

We need your help carrying out these initiatives that contribute to a healthy environment. Join us by practicing easy sustainable methods in your landscape by utilizing organic gardening techniques such as companion planting, ensuring your garden soil is healthy, and using an appropriate irrigation system that provides your garden with the right amount of water. Lastly, consider reusing, reducing, and recycling in your garden and everyday life!