One Yard at a Time

Richard A. Kotarsky, M.A.
Curator of Conservation & Scientific Advancement at the Tulsa Zoo

Want to get involved with a community resiliency project called Yard by Yard? The project is being launched by the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts and The Oklahoma County Conservation District and focuses on earth friendly practices to improve community resiliency. This program highlights community members who implement practices that promote water, land and ecology resiliency and positively impact their communities “Yard by Yard,” one at a time.

Starting yesterday and through the summer, Oklahoma County residents can submit a video of their yard along with a simple checklist of activities to see if they qualify for the Yard by Yard project.

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The Yard by Yard project encourages Oklahoma County residents to complete conservation practices in the areas of soil, water, food, and habitat conservation. The conservation activities selected include easy to complete actions like maintaining a pesticide free yard, using rain barrels to collect water, composting, planting native or well adapted plants, and more. Each activity on the checklist is connected to additional resources to help guide residents who are interested in lawns that “give back to nature.”

The program will kick off August 1st in Tulsa County through the Tulsa County Conservation District and Blue Thumb.  For more information or to submit your own yard, visit

RICHARD KOTARSKY is the Curator of Conservation and Scientific Advancement at the Tulsa Zoo. An ambassador for many of the City of Tulsa’s stewardship and conservation initiatives, he played a major role in helping the Tulsa Mayor’s office sign the National Wildlife Federation Mayors Monarch Pledge. He is active in Monarch Initiative Tulsa and shares his knowledge and passion at community education events. Ric also plays an active role with the Oklahoma Monarch and Pollinator Collaborative steering committee and outreach work group.