Glossary and Liability Waiver

The terms below are found in our search engine.

Artificial Water Feature – a deliberately crafted and maintained water resource for wildlife, such as a bird bath, bubbler, or pond insert.

Invasive Plant Remediation – extensive on-site efforts to manage and remove non-native invasive plant species, such as autumn olive, buckthorn, and garlic mustard, often with support from the Kent Conservation District’s Strike Team.

Large Lot – a property encompassing at least 1 acre of land, typically situated in a rural setting

Medium Lot – a property of 1/4 to 3/4 acre, typically in a suburban setting.

Natural Aquatic Habitat – a naturally occurring or human-made body of water, such as a pond, lake, or stream, with minimal human intervention in its management.

Nature-inspired Planting Style – characterized by a blend of native perennial flower and grass species, often with ground covers instead of traditional mulch, and resembling a prairie landscape.

NWF Certified Habitat – recognition that the property is certified with the National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife program which encourages landscaping practices that support wildlife.

Partially Accessible Terrain – features pathways or walkways made of hard surfaces, providing wheelchair access to some areas of the landscape.

Small Lot – typically encompassing less than 1/4 acre, often found in urban / city environments but not limited to such areas.

Traditional Planting Style – single-species mass plantings or specimen plants with neatly mulched spaces in-between, following a traditional and orderly aesthetic.

Wooded Habitat – a landscape featuring a contiguous area populated with numerous large trees and a naturalized ground layer, typically not mowed or mulched. The protection and/or restoration of biodiversity and ecosystem services are key management goals for the space.

For the peace of mind of our hosts and their guests, all Open Yards registrants will be required to accept a liability waiver and photo release prior to completing any registration. We have included the full text of that waiver and release here.

Liability Waiver & Release

I agree to hold harmless and indemnify the Kent Conservation District, its partners, sponsors and hosts, their agents, volunteers and employees from any and all liability, actions, causes of actions, claims, demands for suits whatsoever resulting from or arising out of personal injuries, loss of, or damage to property, or involving any impairment of, or damage to any right because of or in any way related to the parties above resulting from my participation in the West Michigan Open Yards program, excepting claims arising out of willful misconduct or gross negligence.

I also recognize that there is a risk of exposure to COVID-19, avian influenza and other viruses of concern during these visits in spite of any precautions taken. I hold harmless and indemnify all hosts, participants and volunteers and the above mentioned organizations from any and all liability related to exposure to COVID-19, avian influenza, or other viruses at any of the participating sites.

I also authorize any photos or video taken of myself, and/or the participant, to be used wholly or in part, in perpetuity for any business purpose by the Kent Conservation District.

I also agree that this Liability Waiver and Photo Release is intended to be as broad and inclusive as is permitted by the laws of the state of Michigan and that if any portion thereof is held invalid, I agree that the balance shall, notwithstanding, continue in full legal force and effect.