Hampton residents and businesses can receive funding this fall for planting trees, installing rain gardens, and other practices that reduce flooding and pollution by participating in the City’s RAIN (Resilient and Innovative Neighbor) Program. Qualifying residents will be reimbursed up to $1,000 for installing one of four approved practices through a grant provided to the city by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF).
The program reimburses homeowners for the costs of materials for four different environmentally-friendly activities that will beautify local neighborhoods, improve water quality and decrease flooding— planting trees, building rain gardens, installing rain barrels, and using permeable pavers. Interested residents must apply by Nov. 16. This pilot program prioritizes applications from residents in the Newmarket Creek watershed neighborhoods in this map to support targeted water quality improvements already taking place in those areas.
“The City of Hampton is taking the health of our waterways and the problem of recurrent flooding very seriously,” said CBF Grassroots Manager Tanner Council. “The RAIN grant program is an ideal way for residents to help tackle these issues, all while improving their properties with projects that the city will reimburse.”
CBF and the City of Hampton will be holding two workshops, one virtual and one in person. Participants will learn first-hand about the application process, the four supported conservation practices, and how their actions will contribute to cleaner waterways and reduced flooding, with plenty of time for questions.
The in-person workshop will be held on Thursday October 29th from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Briarfield Park’s Azalea Pavilion. The virtual workshop will be on Monday November 2 from noon to 1 pm. Interested residents can visit hampton.gov/RAINgrant to register for a workshop, fill out an application for funding, and find additional information.
"Hampton has a number of large projects that will help trap and filter rainwater on a large scale, said Hampton Community Development Director Terry O’Neill. "We recognize that small individual projects from homeowners, however, can add up to make a big difference. We want to support those efforts as well.”
The RAIN website includes more detailed explanations of the four landscape practices this grant supports. After deciding which practices to install, residents will fill out the simple application. Once approved and a landowner agreement is signed, residents can buy materials and complete the installation. Reimbursements will be sent after an easy, no-contact inspection of the site.
There are additional funds available for larger-scale projects on commercial properties. If you are a commercial property owner or business in the Newmarket Creek watershed area of Hampton and are interested in installing similar conservation projects, please contact [email protected].
The RAIN grant program is supported through a partnership between the City of Hampton and Chesapeake Bay Foundation. This program is part of the city’s Resilient Hampton initiative to address flooding across Hampton. CBF and its partner, Quantified Ventures, are also helping Hampton develop an Environmental Impact Bond, which is expected to be issued later this fall. This bond provides an innovative new funding source that will help finance public projects to manage runoff from rainstorms and localized flooding in the Newmarket Creek watershed.