RiverSmart Maintenance Program

The RiverSmart 3-Tiered Maintenance Program was developed to provide additional assistance to property owners with regard to the maintenance of their installed gardens. In response to questions and concerns submitted by property owners, RiverSmart representatives and landscape designers will respond with suggestions and advice on how to address the maintenance, either by phone/e-mail or site visits to the property. Property owners may then elect to complete the suggested maintenance on their own or hire a contractor to complete the work.

RiverSmart Rain Barrel Program
“My rain garden was installed in May 2014 and is in need of some minor maintenance. The berms of the rain garden have eroded and the interior of the garden has filled with leaf and other debris, reducing its capacity to retain water. The overflow pipe from the rain barrel and the sump in the rain garden are in good shape. The BayScaping is fine – just needs some sprucing up.”
-DC Homeowner

Tier 1: Phone/E-mail Support

  • Offered as free service to property owners
  • Property owners submit their garden maintenances questions by leaving a voicemail or sending an e-mail (with photos as appropriate)
  • Questions will be answered by RiverSmart representative on a weekly (or bi-weekly) basis
  • RiverSmart representative may suggest the homeowner consider Tier 2 if they are unable to address the issue remotely

Tier 2: Site Visit Consultation

  • $75 fee
  • Property owners request a site visit, during which a RiverSmart representative will meet the property owner at the property to discuss any issues and make recommendations for maintenance or other concerns
  • RiverSmart representative will make suggestions that the property owner may then complete on their own, or request Tier 3 support

Tier 3: Maintenance Site Visit

  • ~$300 fee (dependent upon scope of work)
  • Property owner requests a contractor to complete maintenance on their existing garden
  • Tier 3 services may include:
  • Mulching
  • Weeding
  • Pruning (as appropriate)
  • For rain gardens:

    – Inspection of berm and shore up as needed
    – Inspection of ponding depths and corrections as needed
    – Inspection of inlet protection and addition of rock as needed
    – Inspection of overflow area and corrections as needed

  • Optional services (additional charge to the property owner):
  • Additional planting
  • Thinning and replanting
  • Invasive removal
Payment Form

Tier 3 Maintenance Examples

Rain Garden Maintenance

BayScape Maintenance





Maintenance Covered:

  • Rebuild the berm
  • Reestablish the proper ponding depth
  • Create overflow area
  • Check pipe inlet to ensure it is clear and clean out if needed
  • Weeding and mulching
  • 3 hours labor included
  • Materials included: mulch, rock, clay soil for berm
  • Hauling + dumping included
  • Total Cost: $295.87 + tax

Maintenance Covered:

  • Weeding
  • Mulching
  • Pruning existing plants as needed
  • 3 hours labor
  • Materials – mulch
  • Hauling + dumping included
  • Total Cost: $280.34 + tax

Garden Installations – May 9th, 2014

Rain Garden Installation

Bayscape Installation





Rain Garden Plant List

  • Virginia Sweetspire
  • Green + Gold
  • Coral Bells
  • Spiderwort
  • Switchgrass
  • Violet

BayScape Plant List

  • Dwarf Yaupon Holly
  • Creeping Phlox
  • Blue-eyed Grass
  • Green + Gold
  • Wild Stonecrop
  • Aster ‘Woods Purple’
  • Coral Bells

Additional Resources

Maintenance Schedule

CONTACT US: (443) 499-8230 or

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Jamie Alberti RiverSmart Homes Senior Program Manager, Maryland & DC Office

Jamie is Senior Program Manager of RiverSmart Homes, where she oversees the Alliance's rain barrel and landscaping projects in D.C. Jamie enjoys her current position with the Alliance because it allows her to combine watershed restoration with environmental education opportunities.

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