Approved projects will receive a $200 credit towards purchasing native plants to be used in their new rain garden. Residents, businesses and organizations within City limits are eligible. APPLY HERE!
Projects should ideally be completed in October 2020 and participants will be asked to feature their project on the below Charleston Rainproof Showcase Map. While this round of funding must be used in fall 2020, a wait list will be maintained should potential future funding become available.
UPDATE October 2020: Due to tremendous interest, the first round of funding has been exhausted, but feel free to apply and you will be placed on a waitlist.
The concept is simple: utilize both public and private spaces to capture rainwater.
The program draws inspiration from Amsterdam Rainproof, and is a recommendation from the Dutch Dialogues.
The City of Charleston is collaborating with Clemson Extension and a group of eager volunteers willing to install new rain gardens and rain barrels at their properties. The project will track data on the gallons of rainwater the new systems capture and ultimately divert from the City's central stormwater drainage system. The data will be available for others to learn from.
"Amsterdam's motto is 'Every Drop Counts', and they believe small individual actions incrementally add up to have a collective community-wide impact that better manages flooding and water quality."
All property owners are welcome to join, residents and businesses! The timeline below outlines the phases to implement your first project. Please reach out to Katie if you have questions, at firstname.lastname@example.org..
Thank you to Roots and Shoots for partnering and supporting Charleston Rainproof! The nursery provides guidance to residents interested in installing a rain garden. Roots and Shoots has trained staff and has a section of their businesses specifically dedicated to plants suitable for rain gardens. They also maintain inventory of supplies needed for rain garden and rainwater harvesting installation in addition to offering design and install services.
Businesses interested in supporting the Rainproof program are encouraged to reach out.
Note, you can choose to hire a Clemson certified Master Rain Gardener who can prepare, design and/or install your system(s) for you.
For Hire: Certified Master Rain Gardener List
Now that you have installed your project, showcase a few pictures proudly on our new Rainproof Showcase Map, seen at the top of this webpage. Showcase it on the map by completing this form!
At the same time, we'll capture some basic data from you so we can determine gallons of rainwater your system(s) captures and diverts from the stormwater system and share lessons learned with others in our beautiful city.
The Master Rain Gardener program is managed by Clemson Extension Carolina Clear. It provides design standards and the knowledge-based skill set necessary to install rain gardens and rainwater harvesting systems on a residential scale. While it is not a required program to install rain gardens or rainwater harvesting systems, it is a hands on resource to support installing these items. Click here for more information.
A rain garden is a landscaped depression full of water-loving plants that absorbs excess rainwater. Rain gardens pair well with rainwater harvesting systems using a "treatment train" approach, this is where any overflow after a rain barrel is full is directed into the rain garden.
Rainwater harvesting systems, such as rain barrels and cisterns, are typically installed to capture and store rainwater from a rooftop surface, reducing the amount of rainwater that may otherwise directly enter stormwater drainage inlets. . Rainwater captured in the harvesting system can be reused, such as irrigating plants during a dry spell. Rain barrels and cisterns perform the same function, however cisterns are usually a larger capacity and more commonly used in commercial projects.
Why It Matters
Rain barrels and rain gardens catch rainwater which would otherwise flow into drainage infrastructure and over dirty streets. These approaches work in concert with nature to collect and filter runoff, mitigate flooding, and minimize pollution while helping to save money and energy too. When rainwater is collected and harnessed on site at the source (where it falls), the community gains lots of benefits such as reduced runoff, water quality protection, and the overall less quantity of water overburdening older, undersized drainage infrastructure.