Small Grants Program

Rainscaping Small Grants Program

Due to COVID-19 changes, potential applicants are no longer required to attend a Landowner Orientation meeting. This will likely continue post-pandemic. Prior to submitting an application, we will require you to view a series of instructional videos and take the quiz at the end of each one before advancing to the next video. We are in the process of adding these new features to the website. The Small Grants Program will have a flexible time frame, removing the application deadline. Our goal is to allow applications to be submitted any time throughout the year. The approximate time frame for the initial applications will be in the fall, with awards announced in 2021, prior to spring planting season. Applications received after January/February 2021 will likely experience a 2 month notification period, barring any significant delays due to COVID-19. Please check back here soon for updates on the videos and fall application or email: to recieve and email when the 2020 - 21 round is open. .

MSD Project Clear & The Community

Project Clear is MSD’s initiative to improve water quality and alleviate many wastewater concerns in the St. Louis region. MSD will invest billions of dollars over a generation for community rainscaping projects, system improvements, and an ambitious program of maintenance and repair. Rainscaping investments alone will total $120 million.  Last season (2019-2020), over 100 applications were selected to receive grant funding, totaling more than $425,000.

Contractors Wanted!

MSD Project Clear is seeking contractors to join the Participating Contractor List for design and installation are reimbursable to grantees if a participating contractor was used. For more information, please see the Contractor Application and Contractor Guide.

Application Requirements

Eligibility– Please see if your property is located within the Rainscaping Grants Program Area.

Eligible entities include homes, schools, churches, government properties, organizations, and businesses. Employees of MSD or Missouri Botanical Garden are not eligible for grants.

Orientation – All applicants are required to attend at least one Landowner Orientation Session within the current (2019-2020) or previous (2018-2019) program year. If you did not attend a Landowner Orientation Workshop, please check the website for next year.

Program Clarifications

Grant Amount/Number of Grants – If approved, landowners within the Program Area can be reimbursed up to $4,000 for rainscaping projects. One grant is permitted per address. No additional grants will be awarded for addresses that received grants in previous years.

Grant Quantity is Limited – During the 2019-2020 round, a maximum of 80 projects within the Mississippi River CSO (dark green map area), and up to 40 projects within the River des Peres CSO (light green map area), will be awarded.

Plan Help – Applicants may seek bids and advice from contractors. Costs for design and installation are reimbursable to grantees if a Participating Contractor was used. Don’t forget to plan for maintenance, such as watering plants, weeding, pruning, and mulching.

Approval – Applications will be competitively scored. Priority consideration will be given to projects that manage a large amount of stormwater. Additionally, projects that propose a high percentage of native plants, are cost effective, well designed, available for outreach, and have a detailed maintenance plan, will all be considered in the approval process.

Residential Applicant –
• Residential applicants can apply for up to $4,000 for installing rainscaping features on their property with a minimum of 100 square feet of eligible feature(s).
Institutional Applicant (Schools, Churches, and other Not-for-Profits) –
• Institutional applicants can apply for up to $10,000 for installing rainscaping features on their property with a minimum of 500 square feet of eligible feature(s).
Small Commercial and other Businesses Applicants –
• You may apply for up to $4,000 under the same criteria as residential applicants.
• If you have a large rainscaping project in mind, consider the Rainscaping Large Scale Grants Program.

Important Dates

  • Applications must be received by 5:00 pm, August 1, 2019 AT 4651 SHAW AVENUE, ST. LOUIS, MO 63110.  
  • Participants have two time frames in which to complete their projects:
    • Fall planting period is from project approval  – October 31, 2019
    • Spring planting period begins in 2020 after the final freeze, and ends May 11, 2020
  • Project receipts and Completion Forms must be submitted by the final day of the planting period
    • Grant funds will be dispersed to landowners within 14 weeks of Completion Form submission
    • Please allow six (6) weeks for Completion Form processing, along with Quality Control and Ground Truthing


(314) 577-0202   |


    1. 2019-2020 Rainscaping Small Grants APPLICATION
    2. 2019-2020 Rainscaping Small Grants LANDOWNER GUIDE
    3. 2018-2019 Rainscaping Small Grants LANDOWNER ORIENTATION POWER POINT
    4. Rainscaping Small Grants Presentation – Model & Full Round Photos
    5. Rainscaping Small Grants Presentation – 2016-17 Round Photos
    6. Rainscaping Small Grants Presentation – 2017-18 Round Photos
    7. Rainscaping Small Grants Presentation – 2018-19 Round Photos
    8. Rainscaping Small Grants Presentation – Spring Forward From Planting until Now Photos
    9. Missouri Botanical Garden Native Plant List
    10. Missouri Botanical Garden Rainscaping Guidance
    11. Rain Garden Maintenance
    12. Rainscaping Cost Comparisons