MSD Project Clear Rainscaping Small Grants Program – 2016-17 Round

Applications are now available for the 2016-17 Round.

Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District’s Project Clear is the initiative to improve water quality and alleviate many wastewater concerns in the St. Louis region. It will invest billions of dollars over a generation in planning, designing, and building community rainscaping projects, system improvements, and an ambitious program of maintenance and repair.

One of the initiatives for MSD Project Clear includes $100 million in rainscaping investments. Rainscaping is any combination of plantings, water features, catch basins, permeable pavement, and more 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. 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.

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. MSD Project Clear has built a number of rainscaping projects in the Rainscaping Program Area, starting with a Pilot Program from 2010-2015 to determine the best way to implement the Rainscaping Program.

MSD Project Clear Rainscaping Small Grants Program encourages the public to use simple rainscaping techniques on their properties to reduce the impact of stormwater on the sewer system. The Small Grants Program was started with a model round in 2014, and completed the first full round in 2015. MSD is pleased to continue to offer these Small Grants to property owners in the Rainscaping Program Area.

The main objective for the MSD Project Clear Rainscaping Small Grants Program is to encourage the use of simple rainscaping techniques for the primary purpose of helping the public understand how stormwater impacts the combined sewer system, and how they can help be a part of the solution through the use of rainscaping on their properties. MSD Project Clear has conducted two rounds to date, a 2014 Model Round, and a 2015 Full Round, which collectively awarded 59 grants, up to $3,000 per grant to landowners in the program area. MSD Project Clear and the Missouri Botanical Garden will work together to assist landowners with their projects. Find out if your property is in the area for the grant program. Just insert your address in the search bar.

To learn more, explore the links and information below.

Important program clarifications

  • Multiple grants may be submitted and the criteria are as follows:
    • 1 grant per residential address, and up to 4 grants per commercial address.
    • Each individual address counts as a separate property, excluding individual buildings that have more than one address.
    • Only 1 representative must have attended a Landowner Orientation for each property or organization with multiple properties.
    • For multifamily or duplex properties with a single property owner, you may submit an application for the total number of units (up to 4).
    • If there are multiple owners, EACH OWNER may submit 1 application (up to 4) *NOTE – We do not recommend applying for a Green Roof for shared ownership of a multifamily home.
    • Each grant must be for a unique project, and each project must meet minimum requirements as applicable. For example, a rain garden covering 100 square feet would be one grant; a lawn alternative and pervious pavement area, with a combined area of 100 square feet would be a second grant. A large rain garden covering 200 square feet would only be one grant.

Dates for the 2016-17 Round Grants Program

Applications are now available for the 2016-17 Round.

Project Clear Rainscaping Small Grants Program TimeframeFull Round
Applications AvailableMay 16, 2016
Contractor and Landowner WorkshopsJune and July 2016
Grant Applications DueAugust 12, 2016
Project Notifications OutAugust 31, 2016
Planting TimeFall 2016 and Spring 2017
Project Receipts and Completion Forms DueNo Later Than May 12, 2017
Quality Control/Ground Truthing/Completion Forms ProcessedWithin 6 Weeks of Receipt of Project Completion Forms
Grant Funds Dispersed to LandownersWithin 12 Weeks of Receipt of Project Completion Forms
Maintenance Support Available to LandownersThrough May 2017


  1. Rainscaping Small Grants Program Brochure (PDF)
  2. Rainscaping Small Grants Program Application (PDF)
  3. Rainscaping Small Grants Program Landowner Guide (PDF)
  4. Rainscaping Small Grants Program Workshop Presentation (Landowner Orientation) (PDF)
  5. Full Round Landowner Orientation Q&A (PDF)
  6. Sign Up for a Landowner Workshop
  7. Rainscaping Program Area Map
  8. Missouri Botanical Garden Native Plant List
  9. Missouri Botanical Garden Rainscaping Guidance
  10. Rainscaping Small Grants Program Participating Contractor Application (PDF)
  11. Rainscaping Small Grants Program Contractor Guide (PDF)
  12. Rain Garden Maintenance (PDF)
  13. Rain Garden FAQ on the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District Official Site
  14. Contact Information: