Lawns To Habitat

Has your lawn turned brown? Would you like to save water and money while creating a beautiful native garden that supports birds, pollinators, and other wildlife? Then apply to Conejo Valley Audubon Society’s Lawns to Habitat program, and we will help you turn your sad plot into a thriving native plant habitat resplendent with wildlife!

Each spring CVAS accepts applications for grants to help people make this transformation. Successful applicants will receive:

  • $250 worth of native plants (40-50 plants, depending on size)
  • Design advice from local gardening experts

Let us help you achieve your dream landscape!

Apply for the 2023 Lawns to Habitat Program, starting May 1st


Before Applying –

  • Define, measure, and photograph your project area. Pin flags or survey tape and nails can help you visualize your new native habitat. 
  • Measure to the nearest foot, calculate square footage by multiplying area width by length.
  • Photograph all dead or dying lawn. Do this before removal if you plan to apply for an additional Waterwise turf removal grant. 

Grant application period is open from May 1

Apply for the Lawns To Habitat Grant through May 31st.

May 1-30

Apply for a Lawns to Habitat Grant online.

By June 15

All application will be reviewed by a panel of experienced CVAS members. Site visits may be requested prior to awarding grants.

Winning applicants will be notified by email.

Now Through the Summer 

Remove your lawn by sheet mulching, hand removal, mechanical turf cutting, and /or herbicide application. Please note this process takes 4-8 weeks. June through October are ideal months to complete this process. 


Site visits, design advice, and plant order preparation occur throughout the summer and early fall months (June-September) as grant recipient’s turf is removed, hardscapes installed, and irrigation systems modified. Grant recipients will receive help with planting concept designs for the native plants from CVAS volunteers, but may wish to contract with  landscape professionals. See CVAS resource list for businesses that support the Lawns to Habitat Program.


Order and pick up plants in Thousand Oaks. Contingent on current water restrictions, install plants. Grant recipients are responsible for plant installation.



CVAS Lawn to Habitat 2023 Eligibility Criteria

Grant Applicants Must Meet the Following Eligibility Requirements:

  • Have some lawn, non-native plants, or un-landscaped area available for replacement. Preferred project size is 2,000-4,000 square feet.1/4 acre =10,000 square feet.
  • Commit to removing turf within project planting area .
  • Be the owner of the property or have the owner’s written permission.
  • Be located in Agoura, Oak Park, Simi Valley, Moorpark, Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park or Camarillo.
  • Certify that they have no outdoor cats with access to the property.
  • Be prepared for site visit planning June through September. Be ready to plant September-November or when municipal water restrictions permit planting.
  • Allow project to be photographed or filmed for educational purposes. If recipient wishes, no identifying information will be released.
  • Commit to using low-water methods or systems to maintain native plants. Examples include adapting current irrigation system to drip or micro-spray, rain barrels, hand watering, gray water irrigation, etc.
  • The winner must also agree to the terms of the CVAS waiver of liability.
  • All applications for the Lawns to Habitat Program must be received by May 30th, 2023.
  • Online application.

Consideration Will be Given to Applicants Meeting These Additional Criteria:

  • Conejo Valley Audubon Society members. Membership is $20/year.
  • Project property is adjacent to or within ¼ mile of public park lands or protected open space to promote habitat connectivity.
  • Recipients willing to actively promote and educate the public about the value of native plants and enhancing habitats on private property.
  • Expressed financial need.
  • Participate in the Waterwise turf replacement program. This program provides an additional $3.00 per square foot for lawn removal. 
  • Up to five Lawns to Habitat Alumni Grants may be awarded to prior grant recipients wishing to expand their projects.

Resource List

These companies donate assistance or offer discounts that support the Lawns to Habitat Grant Program.