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Want Your Kirkwood Yard to Look Like This?

Residents can get up to $2,000 for landscaping improvements. The program is part of an initiative to limit how much rain water runs off into area waterways.

Starting this month, Kirkwood residents have the chance to apply for up to $2,000 in grants to help property owners landscape their yards in a way that improves how stormwater is managed.

The so-called "rainscaping" initiative is operated through the Deer Creek Watershed Alliance and, according to a recent article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, is designed to help residents plant native vegetation and other modifications on their property that would to limit rainwater seepage into nearby waterways.

The Deer Creek Watershed Alliance is a partnership between the Missouri Botanical Garden, the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District, this area's office of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Mabel Dorn Reeder Foundation. The group has $200,000 to spend on the initiative.

The newspaper says "come planting season, residents of Brentwood, Clayton, Creve Coeur, Des Peres, Frontenac, Kirkwood, Ladue, Maplewood, Olivette, Richmond Heights, Rock Hill, University City, Warson Woods and Webster Groves will be eligible for payouts ranging from $500 to $2,000."

Staci Arnold, a representative of the Deer Creek Watershed Alliance, gave a presentation to members of the nearby Olivette city council in December. The city of Kirkwood also has information on its website about the program and links to a Missouri Botannical Garden site about the program.

The application guide is also attached to this article.

Arnold said all residents in the Deer Creek Watershed would be eligible for the program, regardless of whether the resident’s home actually lies in the watershed.

Deborah Chollet Frank of the Missouri Botanical Garden told the Post-Dispatch that "when (rain)water runs into a stream, it carries fertilizer, dog poop and everything else with it."

It can also cause flooding when rainwater runs unchecked off lawns.

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