We are excited about the growing interest in the program and the practice of rainscaping! Here's a little background for you.
The EarthWays Center of the Missouri Botanical Garden works with Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District to manage the MSD Project Clear Rainscaping Small Grants Program. This program encourages the public to use simple rainscaping techniques on their properties to reduce the impact of stormwater on the sewer system.
Rainscaping is any combination of plantings, water features, catch basins, permeable pavement, and other activities that manage stormwater as close as possible to where it falls, rather than moving it someplace else. Below ground level, improved soils store and filter stormwater, allowing the surrounding area to slowly absorb it over time. Above ground level, native plants, basins, and water features create public green spaces that also help store water. When used effectively, rainscaping can reclaim stormwater naturally, reduce sewer overflows, and minimize basement backups. The purpose of the rainscaping program is to reduce the volume of stormwater in our combined sewer system by installing landscaping that helps capture rain where it falls, instead of allowing water to run off-site. Rainscaping can also be employed to solve a drainage problem, increase aesthetic appeal, improve property values, and attract birds and butterflies, in addition to other benefits.
2017-18 Round Summary
- 359 landowners registered to attend one of five Landowner Orientations
- 297 of those landowners attended a three hour orientation
- 163 applications were submitted
- Over 100 applications have been selected to receive funding adding up to over $250,000 in awards
Rainscaping practices can include features such as rain gardens, bioretention cells, pervious pavement, green roofs, etc. to slow down, soak up, and reuse the rainwater before it gets to the sewer.
MOBOT Rainscaping Guide - http://www.mobot.org/rainscaping
MSD Project Clear – https://www.projectclearstl.org/
MSD Project Clear Small Grants - https://www.projectclearstl.org/get-the-rain-out/rainscaping-small-grants-program/\