The Chesapeake Bay Trust is proud to partner with Prince George’s County on its Rain Check Rebate Program, offering incentives to homeowners, businesses, and others to install practices that will improve stormwater runoff quality, reduce runoff quantity, and improve local streams and rivers.
What this funds: The Rain Check Rebate Program provides eligible applicants the opportunity to receive a reimbursement for installing approved stormwater management practices. Homeowners, businesses, and nonprofit entities can recoup some of the costs of installing practices covered by the program. The City of Bowie manages its own stormwater program and therefore properties within the City of Bowie are not eligible to participate. The Town of Cheverly, Town of University Park, and City of College Park all offer tree planting incentives to residents. Property owners within these Towns and City are only eligible to participate in the cistern, green roof, pavement removal, permeable pavement, rain barrel, and rain garden programs offered under the County’s Rain Check Rebate Program.
How much can be awarded:
- up to $4,000 for residential properties
- up to $20,000 for institutional properties, commercial properties, multi-family dwellings, nonprofit organizations, homeowners associations, condominium associations, and civic associations.
- Projects whose costs exceed the rebate cap must have separate funding to pay for the difference.
Rain Check Rebate Tree Canopy planting date extension: The Prince George’s County Tree Canopy Rain Check Rebate program does require that trees be planted between October 1 and May 1 to ensure survivability of the trees. Generally, it is not recommended to plant trees during high temperature/summer months since the chance of survival decreases drastically. We are doing what we can, however, to be flexible during COVID-19 and would be happy to discuss your specific project and potential options. Please contact the Rain Check Rebate coordinator directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and the coordinator will work with you to determine if there is still time to plant trees this season.
Are you a Nonprofit working on Residential Property?: Nonprofit organizations working with residential property owners to install Rain Check Rebate Practices may be eligible for grant funding to receive pre-construction funds. Contact us to discuss this option before applying. For more information and to apply: click here.
Need Help Finding a Landscape Professional?: Prince George’s County Rain Check Rebate Contractor Training Completion List contains the names of those individuals and companies that have attended and completed a county-sponsored training course.
Are you a Landscape Professional interested in attending in a Rain Check Rebate Contractor Training class? The Prince George’s County Department of the Environment offers a 1 ½ day contractor training course twice a year (spring and fall). It’s geared towards landscape professionals wanting to know more about how to plan, design, construct, and maintain the seven Rain Check Rebate practices. The course is offered through the nonprofit Low Impact Development Center. Contact email@example.com to learn more.
Program Status: OPEN
Funds are available on a first come, first served basis, and demand for the program this fiscal year has been high.
Deadline: Rolling. Applications are accepted on an on-going basis.
Start a New Application
Applications will be reviewed and processed within two weeks of submission and the applicant will receive an email with next steps. All projects must be pre-approved prior to project installation, with the exception of rain barrel projects.
- The 7 Eligible Practices
- Project Examples Photo Gallery
- Application Process and Forms
- Frequently Asked Questions
The Rain Check Rebate Program provides eligible applicants the opportunity to receive a reimbursement for installing any of the seven approved stormwater management practices. Click on each practice to learn more and view guidelines.
Urban Tree Canopy
All Rain Check Rebate applicants must be the property owner and submit an online application. Applications for all projects must be pre-approved by the Trust prior to project installation, with the exception of rain barrel projects.
Five easy steps to apply for a Rain Check Rebate:
Step 1 – Review the Application Instructions to determine eligibility.
Step 2 – Determine which practices you want to install on your property.
Note: If you are unsure which practice(s) might be suitable, submit an application with estimates. The Rain Check Coordinator will help finalize the practice types and sizes during a site visit.
Step 3 – Review and sign the appropriate Property Owner Agreement, and then upload with your online application.
Note: Complete the agreement with as much information as you know, read the Terms and Conditions, and sign the document.
- If you are a residential property owner, complete the Residential Property Owner Agreement.
- If you are a commercial, industrial, or institutional property owner, complete the Commercial, Industrial, or Institutional Property Owner Agreement.
- If you are a nonprofit organization installing a project on public property, complete the Nonprofit Public Property Agreement.
Step 4 – Submit an online application by clicking the “Get Started” button.
Step 5 – The Rain Check Coordinator will review your application and contact you about next steps. The review process may take up to two weeks after the submission date.
What is the process in order to receiving a rebate?
- Submit online application
- Pre-installation site visit + satisfy contingencies
- Pre-approval by Trust
- Install project
- Submit invoices and receipts
- Post-installation site visit
- Application is sent to County for official approval
- Check is sent to homeowner in approximately 6 – 8 weeks
How long does the process take?
It depends on 1) how soon we can schedule the site visits, 2) how soon you can satisfy the contingencies, and 3) how soon the project can be finished. Usually anywhere from 2-4 months to up to a year.
How long does the application take to complete?
It usually takes 5 – 10 minutes to complete.
I just submitted my application, what happens next?
Applications can take 2-3 weeks to be reviewed and processed. The RCRP Coordinator or intern will get in touch with you via email on the next steps after the application is processed. Note: Applications (and the scheduling of site visits) are reviewed on an on-going, first come-first served basis.
I am not the property owner, can I still apply?
You specifically cannot apply but your landlord/the property owner can apply on your behalf. The property owner MUST be the applicant.
I live in the City of Bowie, why can’t I participate?
City of Bowie residents do not pay into the same fee that Prince George’s County residents pay into, thus do not have access to the funds. They pay into their fee/their fee is handled differently. Check with the City of Bowie to learn of the programs they offer their residents.
I live in the Towns of Cheverly or University Park, am I eligible to participate in the program?
Applicants in the Towns of Cheverly and University Park are eligible for rain barrel, cistern, rain garden, permeable pavement, pavement removal, and green roof rebates through this program, but for Urban Tree Canopy projects, they should contact their Town’s Department of Public Works to participate in those towns’ specific tree planting programs.
I have just completed renovations/have a new building; can I participate in the program?
Potentially. Applicants are not eligible for a rebate under this program if the project is part of the permit approval requirements for new building construction or renovations or if the property is located within a municipality that has a similar rebate program for stormwater management projects. So if you go above and beyond what is required by your permit, you can participate.
Do I have to apply for permits?
Most projects will not require permits. However, if a project on its own or in conjunction with a concurrent project on your property involves any of the below activities, a permit is likely required. Always check with the County’s permitting office if you think you may need a permit.
- 5,000 square feet or more of ground is disturbed;
- 100 cubic yards or more of earth moving occurs; or
- 12-inch change (+/-) in grade that alters drainage flow.
Is a pre-installation site visit required?
Yes, for all practices except rain barrels. In some cases, we can forgo the pre-installation site visit for trees after submission of valid photos. You must not begin your project until you are pre-approved, which occurs after the pre-installation site visit.
How long do I have to complete the project?
You have a year from the day you submitted your application to complete the project. Applications are closed due to inactivity after one year. If you need a little more time, just contact the RCRP Coordinator for a short extension (1 – 3-month extension).
What are the allowable costs?
Only costs associated with the stormwater functions of a project are eligible for reimbursement. Related structural features of a project that do not directly play a role in the treatment of stormwater are not eligible for a rebate. Examples include benches, decorative items such as boulders, walkways, bridges, and other similar items. Itemized, detailed invoices must be submitted to the Trust upon the completion of the project.
I have my documents/contingencies ready to be sent to the RCRP Coordinator, how do I send them?
Upload it to the contingency requirement in your online portal at www.grantrequest.com/SID_1520.
As a residential property owner, how much am I eligible for?
$4,000 per property maximum (non-renewable) – NOT per practice or per property owner.
How long will it take for the check to arrive?
After your application is finalized and sent over to Prince George’s County Department of the Environment, they will review and upon their approval you will receive the check in approximately 6 – 8 weeks.
Where does the money come from?
The RCRP is supported through the Clean Water Fee that Prince George’s County residents* pay on their property tax bill. The fee is in part made up of a flat rate and in part the percentage of impervious cover that exists on your property. The funds go back into the community for beautiful and stormwater treatment purposes.
*Except for City of Bowie residents – they do not pay into the same fee that Prince George’s County residents pay into, thus do not have access to the funds. They pay into their fee/their fee is handled differently.
I don’t know what I should install, what do I list in my application?
You can submit the bare bones of an application and just indicate what you are interested in. We will help you figure out the best practice for your property at the pre-installation site visit (except for rain barrels).
I need help finding a contractor!
While we cannot endorse or recommend any company (this is a County program and we must remain neutral), we do have a list of contractors that have completed the Rain Check Rebate Contractor Training. They are knowledgeable of the program by way of this training. We always recommend you reach out to several different companies to find the best fit for you.
“This is a very worthwhile program to help protect our local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay. We planted over 15 trees on our property to help reduce stormwater runoff... The coordinator continued to act as a liaison with Prince George's County regarding our rebate and we were reimbursed in full. We are very happy we found out about this program!”Jessica and FranklinRebate Amount: $2,100
"I think the entire Rain Check Rebate program is a great idea... I was very impressed with the program coordinator, who paid a visit to my house, looked over the installation, and expertly answered all my questions."DougRebate Amount: $100
"This program is a no-brainer if you are considering any of the green initiatives they cover, which run the gamut. The process of applying for a rebate was so much easier and more straightforward than we expected... Good stuff by Prince George's County and the Chesapeake Bay Trust!"Val and DanielRebate Amount: $4,000
"My husband and I had been wanting to set up rain barrels around our home for a few years. When we finally found the right barrels last summer... We did not have to use our outside water faucets to water plants the whole growing season! ...the Rain Check Rebate program... covered over half [of the expenses] and was a nice reward for doing a little bit to help the environment and the Chesapeake Bay."FrancesRebate Amount: $440