Contain the Rain Program


Create a sustainable landscape in your yard! 

The Contain the Rain Program supports residents who want to reduce rain and snow runoff. Water from rain and melting snow that enters storm drains collects pollutants as it find its way to our streams, rivers, and lakes. Planting native plants and trees reduces the amount of stormwater going into storm drains. They also support the natural ecosystem and provide food for pollinators like bees and butterflies. 

We’ve partnered with the Johnson County to give up to $2,225 to residents to help offset material and labor costs.

The City reimburses the following:

  • Rain Garden: 50% match up to $1,000
  • Rain Barrel: 50% match up to $75
  • Native Tree Plantings: 50% match up to $150
  • Native Plantings: 50% match up to $1,000

Learn more about eligible purchases.   

How to Apply

Step 1.Understand Program Guidelines

  1. Review eligible plants and trees on the Contain the Rain website. If you're installing a rain garden, be sure to follow the How to Plant a Rain Garden instructions. 
  2. You must complete your project by Oct. 31.
  3. We'll reimburse you after you provide receipts for labor and/or material costs.
  4. You must maintain your stormwater project for three years. We’ll need to access your property during this maintenance period. All maintenance costs are your responsibility.
  5. The City isn't liable for personal injury or property damage while you build or maintain your stormwater project.
  6. Please notify Kansas One at 8-1-1 before you dig to make sure there are no powerlines or pipes below ground.

Step 2.Gather Information

  1. Write a project description.
  2. Have a sitemap or photo showing your project location.
  3. Have a cost estimate for your project. 
  4. Know your anticipated project start and completion date.
  5. Have your W-9 for tax purposes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is stormwater?

Stormwater runoff is the water generated when rain, snow melt, and surface drainage flows over streets, parking lots, sidewalks, and rooftops. The stormwater doesn't absorb into the ground.

Where does stormwater go?

As stormwater runoff flows over land and hard surfaces, it picks up sediment, contaminants, litter, nutrients, and other pollutants, which then discharge into the waterways, untreated. Unmanaged stormwater affects Merriam's waterways by causing water pollution, streambank erosion, and flooding issues.

What can I do to help reduce stormwater runoff?

You can capture rain water where it lands and slow down the stormwater through stormwater treatment facilities (STFs). The pollutants and sediment have a chance to settle out rather than go into Merriam's waterways. These STFs include rain barrels, rain gardens, native trees, and other native plantings. These facilities can help improve the quality of water that flows to creeks, streams, and into our rivers.