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Do you live in the Yellow Breeches or James River watersheds? If so, you don’t want to miss this opportunity! The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay could pay for up to 80% of the cost to landscaping your yard! The Alliance is offering this assistance as part of its Reduce Your Stormwater program to help homeowners install Conservation Landscapes and Rain Gardens to reduce stormwater runoff and protect local water quality thanks to funding provided by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Conservation Landscaping aims to reduce turf grass or impervious surface by replacing it with plants native to our region. These plants attract wildlife and typically require less maintenance than non-native species, which helps us save money and protect our streams and rivers. (Something we can all feel good about!) Rain Gardens also use native plants, but are strategically placed to collect and filter pollutant laden stormwater runoff. Groundwater is recharged while plants and soils absorb pollution.

Funding is currently available to homeowner’s in the Yellow Breeches watershed, PA and the James River watershed, VA. To apply, go to the Alliance’s online “Reduce Your Stormwater” Yard Design Tool (http://www.stormwater.allianceforthebay.org/yard-design).

This tool helps users pick a location suitable for either a Rain Garden or Conservation Landscape by asking them to answer a questionnaire about the property. It also creates a personalized plan, including a planting template, suggested plants, materials needed, and do-it-yourself instructions.

If you are in the Richmond, VA area and are curious about additional stormwater options, sign up for a RiverWise Stormwater Assessment! At no charge, a trained volunteer team will come out to your property and look for ways you can reduce stormwater runoff and increase native habitat. Once completed you will receive a personalized report that includes current site conditions and recommendations to reduce stormwater impacts, as well as possible funding opportunities. To sign up for an assessment visit: https://secure.jotform.us/form/40995551174158.