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Restoration Science Center
Lawn to Meadow Program

Lawns are a staple American landscape feature, currently covering more area in the lower 48 states than National Parks. However, they pose a significant threat to biodiversity, causing habitat loss and fragmentation for native species. Lawns also require extensive time and resources to maintain while supporting little to no ecological benefits.

The RSC is working to address these issues through our Lawn to Meadow Program, a component of the Conservation on Private Lands Initiative. Working with landowners, we are overseeing and assisting the transition of traditional lawns to diverse and beneficial meadows. 

Meadow Making Gallery

  1. ESF Graduate Student, Jess Proctor, raking a soil to prepare for meadow planting, Skaneatles, NY Photo: Shumaila Bhatti
  2. Plants emerging - First plants emerging in a recently planted meadow in Skaneateles, NY.Photo: Shumaila Bhatti
  3. Sam Quinn explaining meadow seeding procedure to planting volunteers at Go Natives Perennials. Skaneatles, NY Photo: Shumaila Bhatti
  4. Sam Quinn hand seeding a meadow in Skaneateles, NY Photo: Shumaila Bhatti
  5. ESF Graduate and landowner seeding a meadow to Go Natives Perennials, Skaneateles, NY Photo: Shumaila Bhatti
  6. Water drops on a young meadow plants. Photo: Shumaila Bhatti
  7. Eastern Bluebird sitting on a nestbox with an insect larvae. Meadows provide habitat for insects necessary for young song bird diets. Photo: Shumaila Bhatti


There are many reasons landowners choose to convert their land to meadows, including a desire to protect water quality, reduce soil erosion, enhance habitat for wildlife, save money on lawn care, and the aesthetic appeal of this beautiful landscape feature. Whatever the draw may be, we work beside landowners to produce dynamic meadows that fit their needs while also benefiting the environment.


meadow filled with flowers

Photo: Lilly Kramer

Resources for Landowners

The RSC is working with landowners around Skaneateles Lake to plant meadows on their properties. With generous support from the CNY Community Foundation, we were able to develop an amazing resource for you: a Central New York pocket guide for converting lawns to meadows.

Landowner's Pocket Guide

RSC Youtube

The book cover of a pocket guide for C N Y landowners converting lawns to meadows

Interested in getting involved? Contact our Lawn-to-Meadow Team!

Lilly Kramer holding a camera in one hand and thumbs up in another standing in a field

Lilly Kramer

Lawn to Meadow Coordinator



Sam Quinn

Sam Quinn

Director of Conservation on Private Lands Initiative




This work would not be possible without the support of our growing number of partners!

skaneateles lake association clear lake pure water central new york community foundationernst seeds

go native perennialscentral new york community foundation