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 summer 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!


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. 

Now Through October 15 – 

Apply for the Lawns To Habitat Grant

Now Through November 30 

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

By November 1 Grant recipients will be notified by email. Site visits may be requested prior to awarding grants.


Site visits, design advice, order plants. Grant recipients will receive help with these steps from CVAS volunteers, but may wish to contract with  landscape professionals.


Contingent on current water restrictions, install plants. Grant recipients are responsible for plant installation.



CVAS Lawn to Habitat 2022 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 if project area currently has lawn grass.
  • 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 ready to plant in January-February, 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 October 15th, 2022.
  • Online application.

Funding Priority Will be Given to Applicants Meeting These Additional Criteria:

  • 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.
  • Participate in the Waterwise turf replacement program. This program provides an additional $3.00 per square foot for lawn removal.