You can help treat stormwater runoff by installing rain gardens, native vegetation and rain barrels on your property, and we can help through our Stormwater Cost Share Program.
The Cost Share Program is funded through a $15,000 grant from the Johnson County Stormwater Management Program. We provide an additional $7,500. If you are a resident of Lenexa, you can receive 75% reimbursement for eligible expenses associated with the installation of gardens or structures that help reduce stormwater pollution. These funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
Projects that are eligible for reimbursement include:
What is the maximum reimbursement?
The maximum reimbursement is $110 for rain barrels and $1,500 for rain gardens, cisterns or native plantings.
Apply for reimbursement
Two options are available to sign up for the 2017 Cost Share program. You can either download a copy of the application, print it and mail it into us or complete an online form that is emailed to us immediately.
Apply for the Cost Share Program Online
Cost share qualifying options for your home landscape
A rain garden is a shallow depression in the land planted with a diverse variety of native wetland and prairie vegetation. Using native plants with deep root systems in a rain garden helps absorb water and filter pollutants.
Rain gardens can be used to enhance stormwater runoff quality, reduce peak stormwater runoff rates from small sites and improve the quality of runoff coming from rooftops, driveways and lawns of residential neighborhoods, small commercial areas and parks.
Why build a rain garden?
Water that soaks into rain gardens replenishes groundwater and helps prevent flooding. Rain garden plantings don’t require fertilizer or pesticides, and after they are established, they don’t need to be watered. Native plants provide food and shelter for butterflies, song birds and other animals. Rain gardens add an aesthetic appeal to your yard.
How do I build a rain garden?
Rain gardens don’t have to involve a lot of complicated planning. They don't require much space, can be fitted into oddball shapes and can be readily added to existing buildings. Consider these things when planting a rain garden:
Put your rain garden in the right place. Examine your yard’s drainage. Place the rain garden down-slope and at least 10 feet away from building foundations and up-slope from storm drains.
Size the rain garden correctly. Calculate the square footage of the area draining to the rain garden and divide by three. This will give you a rain garden that captures about 30 percent of the water it receives.
Evaluate existing soils. For heavy clay soils, till in compost to loosen the soil and help plants grow. Compacted soils often cause rain gardens to fail, so keep machinery and vehicles off the area.
Increase infiltration. Excavate six to eight inches of soil to create a slight depression that catches water. Mound the excess soil into a berm on the downstream side of the garden.
Create an attractive design. Rain gardens feature native plants that are attractive and easy to care for. Give your rain garden a tended appearance with neatly defined borders to keep it from looking weedy.
Not only are native plants the best choice for rain gardens, they are a great choice for your yard in general. Native plants have a deep root system that allows natural filtration of pollutants from stormwater runoff. Not familiar with plantings native to our area? Check out these brochures to help you identify the plantings that would work best for you:
Questions? Contact Tom Jacobs, Lenexa's Stormwater Engineer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 913.477.7644
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, lawn and garden watering account for nearly 40 percent of total household water use during the summer. Rain barrels provide a consistent supply of clean, fresh water for outdoor use, free of charge.
Water collected in a rain barrel would normally pour off your roof directly or flow through roof gutter downspouts and become stormwater runoff. Depending on your yard, this runoff can travel onto paved surfaces and eventually into a storm drain, which drains straight to freshwater bodies like creeks and streams. Saving water not only helps protect the environment, it saves money and energy by decreasing demand for treated tap water. Diverting water from storm drains also decreases the effects of runoff to streams, preventing pollution and protecting water.
Rain barrels are relatively simple and inexpensive to construct and sit conveniently under residential gutter downspouts. A rain barrel is composed of a 55-gallon drum, a vinyl hose, a spigot, PVC couplings and a screen to keep debris and insects out.
Where to buy
We occasionally host rain barrel building classes through Lenexa Parks & Recreation, but if you don’t want to wait for the next class, supplies are readily available. Hardware stores and garden centers are likely bets to find parts or whole kits for rain barrels. Online sources carry rain barrels as well.