JoCo homeowners can get money back for sustainable yard projects — Here’s how

Go Green 2022

Johnson Countians can receive reimbursements for certain eco-friendly yard projects like creating a backyard rain garden, like the one above in Overland Park. Photo courtesy city of Overland Park.

Correction: Lenexa does not participate in the county’s Contain the Rain program but does offer up to a 75% reimbursement on certain stormwater runoff projects through its own Cost Share Program.

There’s still a lot of summer left, Johnson County — leaving ample time for home improvement projects.

If you’re undertaking a DIY endeavor especially around your yard this summer, you may consider getting some money back if it’s an eco-friendly addition like a rain barrel, native plantings or a compost bin.

There are several Johnson County cities that offer reimbursements for such projects through city or county-sponsored programs.

But to be clear, the programs in this story are specifically yard-related and differ from other local sustainability grant programs that reimburse residents for things like solar panel installations.

Contain the Rain JoCo: The Johnson County Stormwater Management Program developed Contain the Rain in Johnson County as a way to reimburse most residents who install sustainable, stormwater beneficial solutions in their yards, according to the county’s website.

  • Certain projects “help ‘contain the rain’ where it falls” and reduces the amount of stormwater that goes into drains, which carries pollutants to natural bodies of water.
  • The types of projects that qualify for reimbursement through this program include rain barrels, native trees and rain gardens.
  • Residents can be eligible for up to 50% reimbursement for the cost of installation and materials for one of these projects.
  • Most Johnson County cities — including Fairway, Leawood, Merriam, Mission, Overland Park, Prairie Village, Roeland Park, Shawnee and Westwood — participate in the Contain the Rain JoCo program.
  • This means residents can work with their city on reimbursements for stormwater management projects. Click on your city’s name above to learn more about how to apply for a potential reimbursement.
  • In addition, the city of Lenexa offers up to a 75% reimbursement for sustainable stormwater runoff projects at home through its Cost Share Program.

Where to start: If you’re interested in doing something sustainable in your yard but don’t know where to begin, you can visit the website for Bridging the Gap, an organization focused on sustainability in Kansas City.

  • In fact, Bridging the Gap is hosting a “Contain the Rain” workshop at Johnson County Community College this Saturday, July 23, at 9 a.m.
  • The event will be an overview of ways residents can “help capture stormwater and mitigate run-off” on their properties.
  • You can register online here for the free event, which will be held in the Regnier Center Building on JCCC’s campus in room 101.

Other local eco-friendly reimbursement programs: In addition to the county’s “Contain the Rain” program, both Roeland Park and Lenexa offer reimbursements for other environmentally friendly home projects.

  • Roeland Park offers a compost bin rebate program to help residents divert organic materials from landfills.
  • Eligible Roeland Parkers can receive up to $75 for the purchase or building of a home compost bin. Compost bin program guidelines and an application can be found here.
  • Meanwhile, Lenexa residents who need to replace ash street trees can receive a 50% refund of up to $200 per property as part of the city’s street tree replacement program.
  • The replacement tree must be a street tree and the location and type of tree must be approved by city staff.
  • Additional details can be found here.