Many Hamilton County homeowners associations, churches, and other large property owners are looking for alternative ways to manage their large, underutilized common areas and pond edges. Maintaining turf grass can be expensive in time, money, and inputs like fertilizers and pesticides.

Many properties are shifting to restoring these areas to beautiful plantings of native meadows or rain gardens to save money, improve their environment, and create a recreational asset for the community.

These projects often start with lots of questions about installation, maintenance, costs, and aesthetics. The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District has planned a workshop and bus tour on Aug. 26, to help interested parties learn about these projects and see several projects in various stages of development.

This event will be a one stop shop for people who are interested in these projects or want to introduce the idea to church or HOA leadership or neighbors. Attendees will learn all about the projects and benefits including cost savings, resources, and maintenance.

"The most helpful thing will probably be seeing the projects and being able to hear from HOA/church leaders on their successes and challenges and also from Williams Creek Management about installation and maintenance." said Claire Lane, who has organized the event.

Attendees are encouraged to invite HOA or church leaders, congregation members, neighbors, and anyone who is interested in learning more. Resources to help with projects, including financial assistance will be discussed.

The workshop and tour is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The workshop will begin and conclude at Grace Church at 5504 E 146th St., Noblesville.

The tour portion will visit four sites via charter bus (included in registration). Registration is $15 per person (includes box lunch on the tour) and can be completed at Space is limited and registration deadline is Aug. 23.

Questions regarding the event can be directed to Claire Lane at or 317-773-2181.