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What if you could get a Virginia landscape grant to help pay for your project? Would it help you make the decision to move forward? I know, I sound like this guy, but stay with me:
The Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Districts offer a program, for homeowners and businesses, called the Virginia Conservation Assistance Program (VCAP). It’s not for all landscape projects, just ones that would be considered to be “best practices” for managing stormwater and protecting the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Virginia landscape grant-eligible projects
I’m really impressed with Virginia for implementing VCAP. Controlling runoff is getting more and more critical as our state grows and we add acres of impervious surfaces like roads, rooftops, and lots and lots of hardscape. Here are a few types of projects for which you may be able to get a rebate. All information comes from the VCAP website.
Simply put, conservation landscaping means converting turfgrass and/or bare soil areas to planting areas that support wildlife, feature native/non-invasive plants, are low-impact, and help protect the air and water. The posted reimbursement rate is 75% of costs, up to $3,500 per application.
Impervious surface removal
The overwhelming majority of the pavement you see – concrete, asphalt, brick – is impervious. Water still has to go somewhere, so impervious surfaces can mean that stormwater picks up debris and pollutants then heads to the nearest stream or storm drain. To help with this growing problem, VCAP offers incentive payments of $2.50 per square foot of treated area, with a maximum payment of $10,000 per parcel, per year. What’s incredibly cool is that this can be used in conjunction with…
Permeable pavement installation
Permeable pavement is any paving surface that allows stormwater to filter down into the soils. One of the more common materials used is a permeable paver system. These are built over a bed of open gravel, and the pavers have large gaps between them that are filled in with a smaller gravel. They’re not cheap to build, which is why I think it’s amazing that VCAP will reimburse 75% of the total cost, with a maximum payment of $15,000 per parcel, per year.
Vegetated Conveyance System
Come on, guys. Enough with the fancy language. You’re talking about a swale. Specifically, dry swales, wet swales, and step pool conveyance swales. What’s the difference? A dry swale is designed to move stormwater and allow it to percolate into the soil. A wet swale is designed to stay wet (thus the name), acting as a wetland to allow funk to settle out of the stormwater and for microbes and root systems to help clean the runoff. Step pool conveyance swales are designed to help slow and dissipate water flow from a storm by using a series of shallow pools. For these types of projects, they offer reimbursement of 75% of total costs, up to $10,000 per parcel per year.
Rain gardens are shallow, landscape depressions that hold stormwater immediately after a rain event and allow the water to percolate into the soil within 48 hours. They take a little skill to do correctly, and plant selection is important. Not every plant is ok with sitting in 6-12 inches of water for a while, then going back to dry feet. VCAP offers reimbursement of 75% of total costs, up to $3,500 per parcel, per year.
VCAP also offers reimbursements for dry wells, rainwater harvesting, constructed wetlands, green roofs, and living shorelines. It’s all on their website, and we can help you with those Virginia landscape grant projects as well.
How does one get a Virginia landscape grant?
There’s a straightforward process for getting a Virginia landscape grant. The best place to start is with a consultation with your friendly neighborhood Virginia landscape designer. After that, we contact your local soil and water conservation district, they come out, and they conduct a site assessment. From there, we’ll create a landscape plan for your project and you can submit it, along with the other required documentation, to the VCAP program. If it’s approved, we’ll build it, the soil and water folks will inspect the completed project, and you’ll receive a check for the approved reimbursement amount. It’s that simple.
If you’ve been contemplating one of the projects I mentioned above, contact me today and let’s discuss next steps!