Sept. 9, 2020 - Applications are now being accepted for a limited number of grants through RainReady Oak Park, a program to help property owners pay for permeable landscaping approaches that will better manage rain.
Each participating homeowner will receive a free assessment of their yard, a customized landscape design and a grant of up to 50 percent of the cost of green landscaping solutions such as rain gardens and permeable pavement. The maximum grant is $1,300.
To be eligible, applicants must be residents of Oak Park who own and live in a single-family home with a yard and downspouts disconnected from the municipal sewer system.
Residents can apply for the program online or pick up a paper application from the Neighborhood Services Division at Village Hall, 123 Madison St. The deadline for 2020 has been extended through September.
Applicants must also have no outstanding Village obligations or building code violations, be able to maintain the landscaping improvements for at least three years and be willing to participate in an evaluation of the program.
Landscaping improvements eligible through the program include rain gardens and bioswales, which use porous soil and water-loving plants to absorb water. The installation of cisterns, dry wells and permeable pavement also can be covered through the grant. Such improvements typically cost $1,000 to $4,000.
Examples of landscaping that is not eligible through the grant include French drains, tree removal and new concrete or other impermeable surfaces.
While only a limited number of grants are available, applicants who aren’t selected this year will be put on a waiting list for next year.
for a comprehensive overview of the program, including a list of FAQs.
The primary goals of the RainReady Oak Park program are to lessen the burden on Oak Park’s sewer system by capturing rain where it falls and reduce the risk of basement seepage and sewer backups by directing rain away from homes.
The program is funded by the Village of Oak Park and administered by RainReady, an initiative of the Center for Neighborhood Technology.
The Village first introduced the RainReady program as a pilot project in 2017. Thirty grants were awarded last year.
For more information about the program, contact the Village’s Neighborhood Services Division at 708.358.5410 or firstname.lastname@example.org