MSD Project Clear Rainscaping Grant : Everything You Need to Know

We’re no strangers to the MSD Project Clear Rainscaping Grant Program. Every year we work with property owners to complete the process (see our last update about the program here) for free money for landscaping! We create sustainably-minded landscape designs that incorporate all of the required rainscaping features that are critical to securing the money offered through the rebate program. It’s a great way to invest in sustainable features that aren’t just smart, they look good too. 

Rainscaping Grant Program

In 2019, homeowners in the program area could get up to $4,000 for rainscaping projects. These rainscaping designs and installation projects need to include some of the following key features that can dramatically improve the overall look, functionality, and ongoing maintenance of a property. Below is a before/after outdoor property transformation we designed and installed for a landscape design client. You can see the severe flooding in the yard that would last for days, mucky and gross. Now, the landscape better handles the water run-off with a natural-looking rain garden and native plantings suited for the soil conditions. The yard requires way less maintenance, looks better, and isn’t a sloppy mess! 

rainscaping design before and after transformation

What Your Rainscape Needs:

Lawn Alternatives: This is something any plain, cookie-cutter yard can benefit from. Replace an area of turf grass with a garden bed of long-blooming perennial plants, shrubs, trees, groundcover, and native grasses. One or two new garden beds is all it takes to add no-maintenance interest to home. Native plants and other lawn alternatives are a great way to improve the biodiversity in your yard, inviting butterflies and birds!

Woodland Restoration: Lots of homes have invasive species in their yard, like notoriously nasty Bush Honeysuckle. Through the Project Clear Program, you can get money to remove these pest plants and replant those areas with native alternatives. 

Rain Garden: A key feature of rainscaping projects is a rain garden, shown below. Rain gardens are designed in a landscape to catch and hold stormwater runoff from surfaces like driveways, roofs, and compacted or large lawn spaces. Rain gardens area also beneficial to yards that experience flooding, ponding, or generally wet areas. When designed properly, a rain garden is a enhancement to your yard, with blooming perennial flowers, plants, native grasses, and boulder features incorporated into the design. 

Rainscaping ProjectPermeable Pavers: Permeable pavers are a great way to help keep rain water away from storm sewers and back into the natural ecosystem. While permeable pavers are more expensive than traditional paving, these costs can be off-set by the Project Clear Grant Program. The money is well spent for yards that experience heavy flooding, because not only are you able to expand or keep your patio space, but you can improve overly damp conditions that keep you from enjoying your own yard! 

quiet village permeable paver patio builderBoulders and Rock Beds: This is a feature like to incorporate into rain garden designs. Large boulders create year-round interest in yards, which is especially important in St. Louis where everything dies back in Winter. Boulders and rock features create a unique look in any rain garden bed, rainscaping element, or other landscaping features that are designed to improve water mitigation. Below is an low-maintenance design that transformed a small front lawn to a beautiful garden space that once established, will require little homeowner maintenance; way less than mowing traditional turf grass week after week…

new rain garden projectThere are also small applicable elements that can be used in the MSD Project Clear Rainscaping Program, like rain barrels. And, while most of our photo examples are residential properties, small businesses and commercial properties can apply under the same application process too! This is a heavily underutilized way to make enhancements to your property, improve your impact on the environment, AND get money for taking action!

You can find us on the approved Participating Contractor List on the Project Clear website, so we know the process well. We are committed to making sure our clients transform their yards in an environmentally friendly way, that improves curb appeal and functionality of your own outdoor oasis.

What’s important is to NOT miss critical application dates for required steps, such as the required Landowner Orientation Workshops, Application due date, and more. It takes a little effort, but we’ve found it’s usually well worth the investment in time and coordination with our team to secure an extra $4,000 towards your landscaping project.

Keep updated with key details from the Project Clear website, or follow us on Facebook or Instagram. We’ll be sharing key program details for the 2020 season as they are released by MSD. 

For now, think about what changes you’d like to see in your yard. Whether it’s lower maintenance and less mowing, more beautiful plants, or more space to play and entertain, we can help guide you towards a new yard that you can be proud of.