The 2023 application period has closed and grantees have been notified. Please check back in early August 2024 for potential future funding.
In 2023, $10,000 of funding is available for 50 awards thanks to a regional partnership between the City of Charleston and Charleston County each providing half!
All projects utilizing Charleston Rainproof Mini Grant funding are posted on the Charleston Rainproof Showcase Map as learning opportunities for all.
2023 Charleston Rainproof Mini Grant Program Details
Purpose: Support property owners to install rain gardens to enhance water infiltration and mitigate flooding risks.
What: Approved applicants will be trained and awarded $200 towards the purchase of native plants to install a new rain garden at their own private property. This subsidy should cover about half the cost of installing a new rain garden, depending on the size, soil and other variable factors.
When: Applications are accepted starting August 11, 2023 on a rolling basis until 5:00 p.m. on August 31, 2023. DEADLINE PASSED
Awards will be announced on or before September 6, 2023.
Projects which receive an award shall be completely installed and meet requirements by October 28, 2023.
How it Works:
We will train you! No prior rain garden installation experience is necessary, but grantees shall commit to 2 hours of training to help you design and install the best rain garden possible! Training will help you choose the right location on your property, the size of the rain garden, the design, the right plants and supplies needed, and the installation techniques for success. Training includes a one-hour online video, and a one-hour in person workshop led by certified Master Rain Gardeners.
Grantees purchase supplies on their own. The $200 will be deducted when you purchase native plants and supplies at a designated location.
Grantees have about 6 weeks to design, purchase supplies and install the rain garden on their own using resources from the trainings.
Grantees report their efforts by sharing pictures and dimensions of their new rain gardens on the City's Rainproof Showcase Map by filling out a simple one-page online form.
Who: Eligible applicants include City of Charleston or Charleston County residents, businesses, and organizations such as non-profits, schools, etc. who own their property or otherwise have permission from their property owner to install a rain garden. Installations are not allowed on verges or other public property. Limit one award per household/ business/ address throughout life of program.
1) Training(2 hours)
Awarded grantees are required to watch a pre-recorded one hour online video training about rain garden installation on their own time PRIOR to attending one required in-person workshop.
Approved grantees are required to attend a one hour in-person workshop on either Wednesday, September 13 (at Corrine Jones Park on Peninsula) or Tuesday, September 19 (at Medway Park on James Island), from 5:30-6:30pm.
The workshops will be led by Certified Master Rain Gardeners and rain garden gurus at Clemson Extension. They provide a chance to learn first hand and ask questions about your specific project. *Certified Master Rain Gardeners are exempt from the required training.
2) Design and Installation: After the workshop training, grantees will have all the information and resources they need, and about 6 weeks, to design, prepare the site, purchase plants and supplies, and install the rain garden.
Grantees are required to take pictures (ideally before, during and after) and take note of the dimensions of your rain garden and the dimensions of the area draining into your rain garden because you will report these numbers on
Installation and reporting must be complete by October 28, 2023.
4) Monitoring and maintenance: Plan to take care of your new rain garden for years to come, as you would with any landscaping project.
Award Process: Grant money is available to applicants on a first come, first served basis who have qualifying projects and demonstrate the ability to complete all the requirements on time. A wait list will be created to gather additional interest for future funding opportunities.
Available Funding: Up to $10,000 of funding is available for the fall 2023 program, with the ability to fund up to 50 projects! Grantees will receive notice of awards on or before September 6, 2023.
Why it Matters: Rain gardens are a proven, effective way to reduce flooding, soaking up stormwater runoff and diverting it from central stormwater drainage systems that can become overwhelmed during periods of heavy rain. Additionally, rain gardens help to filter pollutants out of runoff before they enter storm drains.
Rain gardens installed with this grant money will provide useful data to the community on the effectiveness of this stormwater mitigation technique, and will inform future strategies throughout the city.
Impacts: The new rain gardens installed in the last two grant cycles (2020 and 2022) produced significant results to mitigate flooding already! The 37 rain gardens installed are diverting over 750,000 gallons of water annually from the central stormwater system and into rain gardens and rainwater harvesting systems for reuse instead.
$1 invested in rain gardens leads to 3.22 gallons of water diverted per 1” rain event, or 82 gals per year!
This funding opportunity is being offered as part of the Charleston Rainproof program, an initiative grown from the Dutch Dialogues process, which seeks to engage residents and business owners in a community-wide action plan to help make Charleston less flood prone together.
Financial support: A comprehensive scholarship is accessible for those with financial need. Please contact the program managers directly.
Contact the Program Managers: Jamie at (843)-579-7501 or GilletteJ@Charleston-SC.gov; or Katie at (843) 724-3789 or firstname.lastname@example.org.