Learn More In The


This page offers resources to help HIP homeowners outside of the City of Bellingham plan and install a HIP project.  Whatcom Conservation District staff are always available to answer your questions and help you with your HIP project. Contact Ryan O’Connor, Lake Whatcom HIP Coordinator, at roconnor@whatcomcd.org or (360) 306-4701.


Whatcom County HIP Overview

A 2-page summary of how HIP works in Whatcom County.

How HIP Works

As a first step, watch this 12-minute presentation explaining how HIP works in the county. Learn about what types of projects you can install, program requirements, reimbursement, and more.

Lake Whatcom HIP Whatcom County Program Handbook

A complete reference to guide you through your HIP project and answer your questions about how the program works and what to expect. Please review this handbook to see if HIP is a good fit for you.


Homeowner Acknowledgement Form

A checklist to facilitate clear communication about program offerings. We want to make sure you know what to expect from HIP before you get started.

HIP Maintenance Agreement

Download a copy of the HIP maintenance agreement to review before starting a project.


Planning, Installing, and Caring for your Native Landscaping

Watch a 13-minute presentation with helpful tips on how to plan, install, and care for your HIP native landscaping project.

Landscaping with Native Plants

A supplemental handbook with essential information to help you plan, install, and maintain your native landscaping project.

Native Plant Slide Show

Watch an 18-minute presentation and slide show showcasing the many beautiful native plants to choose from for your new landscape.

King County Sample Plans

Sample native landscaping plans for different light and soil conditions. Feeling overwhelmed by plant choices? Use these sample plans to get started. Additional plan options are provided below.

Tips for Wildfire Safe HIP Projects

Want to make sure your HIP native planting is also wildfire safe? Read these tips.

HIP Native Plant List

HIP native plant organized by site conditions (light exposure and soil moisture requirements) with mature size and helpful notes. Use this tool to select the right plants for your project site.

Planting Worksheet with HIP Native Plant List

Downloadable excel worksheet to use for your native landscaping project. Use this tool to calculate numbers of plants needed, amount of mulch needed, and select plants from the HIP plant list.

HIP Reimbursable Expenses Guide

A detailed list of project expenses that qualify for reimbursement through HIP in Whatcom County. Be sure to check this guide early in your planning process.

Native Landscaping Materials Purchasing Guide

Guide for purchasing plants, mulch, and rocks for HIP Native Landscaping projects.

Approved Mulch List

Be sure to purchase mulch from this list! Tested and approved low-phosphorus mulches for use in the Lake Whatcom watershed. Last updated Jan 2020.

HIP Labor Invoice Template

If you choose to hire non-professional labor to help you install your HIP native landscaping project, use this invoice template to ensure the expense is reimbursable.



Sunny Shoreline Landscape Plan

If your site slopes gently toward the water, use this layout to maximize your fun in the sun.

Shoreline Connection Landscape Plan

Keeping you connected to the uses along your shoreline, this layout adds privacy from boaters and neighbors.

Shoreline Buffer Landscape Plan

Tired of the geese making a mess along your shoreline? This layout creates a barrier that doesn't detract from your water view.

Shady Creekside Landscape Plan

Along streams, use this layout to beautify your property while reducing erosion and flooding

Part Sun Privacy Landscape Plan

Creating a border of native landscaping using this layout grows a beautiful and natural barrier while keeping your views intact.

Backyard Sanctuary Landscape Plan

Use this layout to turn an open lawn area into a private place where you can relax, entertain guests, and attract birds and butterflies.

Sunny Hillside Landscape Plan

Mowing lawns on steep slopes can be a big headache. This layout helps you envision ways to plant your hillside while maintaining that spectacular view.

Deep Shade Landscape Plan

Some native plants thrive in shady areas, where weeds and moss would otherwise grow. Use this layout if you live under tall trees or for the shady side of your lot.

  • Hidden
    Used to pass the last URL as a parameter to the contact form to help with notification routing.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Connect With Us

Can't find what you're looking for? Many HIP resources are constantly being updated to help program participants and professionals alike. If you need something that isn't here, or if one of our links isn't working, please send us a note using this form and we'll reply directly to you with the information you need to be successful. Thanks!