The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) celebrated 45 completed rainscaping projects funded by MSD Project Clear Rainscaping Grants throughout the Rainscaping focus area. A celebration of the completed Rainscaping projects was held on Tuesday, November 17, 2015.
The 2015 Rainscaping Grants were granted to individual landowners and community organizations, such as schools and churches, in the form of $3,000 towards managing stormwater naturally, through proven rainscaping techniques. After a successful round of projects in 2014, the Rainscaping Program continues to remove stormwater from the sewer system that drains directly to the Mississippi River.
“Whether small or large, anytime we are slowing down stormwater and keeping it from overburdening our system, it is a benefit to our community,” says Brian Hoelscher, Executive Director of MSD. “We are investing in these rainscaping projects because these kind of partnerships allow us to create more community and sewer system benefits than MSD would be able to accomplish alone.”
Getting the rain out of our system is a key component of the MSD Project Clear initiative to improve water quality in the St. Louis region over the next generation. The Rainscaping Grant Program is designed to encourage everyone in the community, from a small residential project to a large-scale development, to take steps to keep excess stormwater out of our system. MSD Project Clear’s Rainscaping Program partners with Missouri Botanical Gardens, landscape architects, and local contractors to assist grantees complete their projects. These partners work alongside grantees to plan and implement rainscaping techniques, such as rain gardens, native plantings, rain barrels, and green roofs, to reduce the impact of stormwater on our sewer system. “The MO Botanical Garden was very pleased to assist our partner, MSD, with the administration of the smaller Rainscaping Grant Program,” said Glenda Abney. “The combination of our different areas of environmental expertise really helped make the program very successful, and we look forward to continuing our partnership in the future.”
Plans for the 2016 Rainscaping Grant Program are underway and will be announced at the beginning of year. Stay tuned to www.projectclearstl.org/rainscaping for more announcements.
About MSD Project Clear
MSD Project Clear is the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District’s initiative to improve water quality and alleviate many wastewater concerns in the St. Louis region. MSD Project Clear will invest billions of dollars over a generation in planning, designing, and building community rainscaping and system improvements, along with an ambitious program of maintenance and repair and the disconnection of some residential downspouts in parts of St. Louis County’s separate sewer area from the wastewater sewer line. This work is part of an agreement between MSD and the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Missouri Coalition for the Environment.
The St. Louis region’s success with MSD Project Clear will only be possible through strong partnerships and clear communications with the public.
To learn more about the MSD agreement with EPA, please visit www.stlmsd.com/our-organization/organization-overview/consent-decree. For more information on MSD Project Clear, visit ProjectClearSTL.org or follow us on Twitter @ProjectClearSTL.
About the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD)
Created in 1954, the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) works every day to protect the public’s health and the natural environment through effective wastewater and stormwater management strategies.
MSD is responsible for the public sewer system that homes and businesses connect to through lateral lines. Through a labyrinth of connected sewers, wastewater is transported to one of seven sewer treatment plants – nearly 7,000 miles of sewers in all. That is like going from St. Louis to New York City and back three times! Individual property owners are responsible for another important part of the system, the sewer lateral that connects a home’s plumbing to the public sewer in the street.