City of Charleston offering grants for rain gardens to combat downtown flooding

Local News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – New grants are now available for City of Charleston residents and businesses to install rain gardens to combat flooding.

Officials say rain gardens are a proven and effective way to reduce flooding. They say the gardens soak up stormwater runoff and divert it from central stormwater drainage systems that can often become overwhelmed during heavy rain.

They can also help to filter pollutants out of runoff before they enter storm drains.

“Every drop counts, okay, think about that, every drop counts. Every drop that you keep on your property and nurturing a plant rather than going into the storm water system is a drop that isn’t flooding someone,” said Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg, who also uses a rain garden at his home.

City leaders say rain gardens that are installed with the grant money will provide useful data to the community on the effectiveness of this stormwater mitigation technique. It will also inform future strategies throughout Charleston.

“I call it a butterfly heaven, I mean you walk out here in the morning and there are butterflies everywhere, I mean it increases your quality of life, it saves the water from going into the storm drain, and so everybody wins,” said Mayor Tecklenburg.

WEB EXTRA: Mayor Tecklenburg’s rain garden

The funding is available to applicants on a first come, first served basis, and a wait list will be created to gather additional interest for future funding opportunities.

“This opportunity is being offered as part of the city’s Charleston Rainproof program, an initiative grown from the Dutch Dialogues process, which seeks to engage citizens and business owners in a community-wide action plan to help make Charleston less flood prone,” the city said in a news release Thursday.

The deadline to apply is October 31st.

How to apply: Please visit www.charleston-sc.gov/rainproof and complete the registration form found at the “APPLY HERE” link. In the form, select “Rain Garden Implementation” under “Type of Project(s).”

Upon registration, applicants will receive a confirmation email containing additional information.

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