The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) offers technical and financial assistance to encourage property owners to install eligible RainScapes techniques. Funding is available for the RainScapes Rewards rebate program and property owners are encouraged to apply. RainScape techniques include rain gardens, conservation landscapes, canopy trees, green roofs, permeable pavements, rain barrels, cisterns and dry wells. RainScapes projects create environmentally-friendly landscapes that reduce runoff to local streams and save money on maintenance. Those interested in the rebate program are encouraged to submit their applications by June 30 when funding for fiscal year 2012 ends.
To qualify for rebate funds, DEP approval prior to installation is required for all projects, except rain barrels. Approved projects should be completed within six months.
A workshop on the Conservation Landscape RainScape technique will be offered at a workshop on Friday, May 18 (Course # 188801) and Saturday, May 19 (Course # 188802) at Brookside Gardens. The cost for the workshop is $10. Register through the Parks and Recreation online system at http://tinyurl.com/d8vzuyh using a free ParkPass. To sign up for ParkPass, go to www.parkpass.org.
For those who cannot attend the class, DEP’s online RainScapes manuals help property owners assess a property for rainscape project suitability; design, plan and install a rainscape; and estimate cost and maintenance requirements. The manuals are available at http://1.usa.gov/zfkYk8.
A RainScapes tour is also planned for June 16 in the Anacostia and Rock Creek watersheds. More details will be forthcoming by the end of May.
The RainScapes Program educates property owners on ways to reduce the effects of stormwater pollution on local streams and waterways. The techniques help capture and hold rainfall and then release it in a way that simulates natural drainage. Most rainfall on urban surfaces such as roofs, driveways, roads, parking lots and patios ends up as stormwater runoff, which can carry pollutants into streams and damage stream banks and habitats. In contrast, RainScapes techniques allow rainfall to soak into the ground where it can replenish groundwater and recharge streams.
RainScapes is a vital component of the County’s watershed restoration efforts, which are required by law under the County’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Stormwater Permit. For more information about RainScapes and the rebates, contact the RainScapes office at email@example.com or check the County’s website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/rainscapes.
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