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Rain Garden and Rain Barrel Incentive Program Jun 04, 2014 ../pictures/thumbnails/00544-RainBarrel-2009Fair-tn.jpg The Greater Elkhart County Stormwater Partnership offers financial and technical assistance to homeowners who want to install rain gardens and rain barrels. Find out more here.

Homeowners and Stormwater - Further Reading

Rain Garden and Rain Barrel Incentive Program

Rain Barrel Painted with SWCD Logo

Rain Barrel


The Greater Elkhart County Stormwater Partnership will help homeowners install rain gardens and rain barrels in most of Elkhart County. For homeowners who qualify, the program can reimburse up to $250 for rain garden plants and up to $50 per rain barrel (maximum two rain barrels per parcel).

This incentive program is being funded in 2014 for the fifth year. The program comes as a result of stakeholder input into the Partnership's stormwater fee. The program has generated a lot of excitement, with 29 rain gardens and 254 rain barrels installed over the first four years.

The program is open to anyone in Elkhart, Goshen, Bristol, or unincorporated areas of Elkhart County. These are the areas where residents pay a stormwater fee to fund the Partnership's programs.

You Want to Do Your Part. We Want to Help.

To take advantage of the program, the first step is to apply. The application is available at the Elkhart County SWCD office or at the links below. Approval will be given on a first-come, first-served basis while funds last.

In order to qualify for reimbursement, applicants must also attend a workshop on rain gardens and rain barrels. The next workshop is planned for Thursday, August 21, 2014, 4:00 - 6:00 pm at the Purdue Extension conference room on the 4-H Fairgrounds. The workshops are free and open to the public.

Contact Lora Callahan or call 574-533-4383 ext. 3 for more information.

Rain Garden at Elkhart Environmental Center - Just Planted

EEC Rain Garden


Save Water. Save Money.

Rain barrel applicants who have been pre-approved and attended the workshop should submit receipts and a photo of the installed practice. Reimbursements will take place in the order they are received while funds last.

Those wishing to install rain gardens have an extra step - a Partnership staff member must visit their site and approve their rain garden plans before they move ahead with installation. All funded practices must be maintained for five years.

Rain gardens and rain barrels have received a lot of attention recently, and we hope that this new program will help them become even more widespread in Elkhart County.

What is a Rain Garden?

Rain gardens collect rain water runoff and encourage it to soak into the ground rather than drain into storm drains, creeks, and rivers. This animation from the University of Nebraska helps demonstrate how they work and what factors to have in mind when planning rain gardens.

Application Forms and Brochure