Green Stormwater Mini-Grants

Bring Home Some Green!

The Pierce Conservation District (PCD) is pleased to offer Green Stormwater Mini‐Grants to landowners and community groups in the Commencement Bay, Chambers Creek, and Lower Puyallup River Watersheds for projects that reduce polluted stormwater runoff entering our local waterbodies. 

When rainwater falls on impervious surfaces (buildings, roads, and lawns), it doesn’t get absorbed by plants and cleaned in the soil. Instead, it flows over these surfaces and picks up pollution along the way, creating a toxic soup that flows untreated into local creeks and streams, and eventually into Puget Sound. Scientists estimate that 75% of pollutants in Puget Sound come from stormwater runoff.

Because stormwater runoff comes from all of our neighborhoods and communities, individual actions can add up to make a big difference in improving our water quality, protecting public health, and recovering endangered wildlife.

This green stormwater program helps landowners and community groups complete projects that capture stormwater runoff so it can be slowly infiltrated into the soil, not sent down our storm drains. These projects benefit urban ecosystems while also meeting landowner goals. Grant recipients can receive up to $4,000 to plant rain gardens, remove excessive pavement, create urban habitat, and/or collect rainwater in large tanks.

In 2021, we were able to fund sixteen of the more than sixty proposals that were submitted. We were thrilled with this level of interest in green stormwater projects from the community and look forward to funding even more projects in 2022. 

stormwater mini grant graphic

Mini-Grant Applications are currently closed. Sign up for our newsletter for updates on when we will be accepting new applications.

Questions? Contact Robb Krehbiel
Green Stormwater Program Manager
Phone: 253-845-9770 ext. 136

How it Works

1. Schedule a Free Site Visit. This is a great chance to highlight any ideas or challenges you have with your property. PCD staff can help identify the best green stormwater project for your site to meet your goals.

2. Choose your Project(s). After the visit, decide if you plan to plant a rain garden, create urban wildlife habitat, depave, and/or install a rain tank. PCD staff can help you with the technical and design details of these projects.

3. Apply for the Mini‐Grant. Fill out our online application.

4. Receive a Notice of Award. If your project is selected for grant funding, you will receive a Notice of Award and Financial Assistance Contract from Pierce Conservation District.

5. Complete the Project. Once your grant is approved, complete the project and take photos for “before and after.”

6. Enjoy! Take care of your new garden, green space, or rain tank so you can keep playing an important role in protecting Puget Sound from pollution. PCD staff are always available for any maintenance questions along the way.

  1. What Projects Qualify?
  2. Who Qualifies?
  3. How Will Projects Be Scored?
  4. An Emphasis on Equity
  5. Resources
  6. Learn More
Water Quality Project Description/Standard Cost Share


Replacing grass lawn or non-native landscaping with a rain garden or bio-swale designed to collect and infiltrate stormwater runoff.

Area of lawn or non-native landscaping will be removed and replaced with either a rain garden or bioswale. The native soil and turf grass will be removed completely and replaced with rain garden soil, appropriate plants (at least 50% native/pollinator friendly), and mulch. Runoff from adjacent buildings, impervious pavement, or landscaping will be directed into the rain garden/bioswale. 
PCD to cover labor and material costs to prepare sites for planting up to $4,000.
PCD to provide in-kind design and technical assistance.
Grantee to purchase and plant all plants.


Replacing grass lawn or non-native landscaping with a pollinator garden, native plants, other wildlife habitat.

At least 50 square feet of lawn or non-native landscaping will be removed and replaced with plants (75% of which must be native or pollinator-friendly) that provide benefits to pollinators, birds, and other wildlife in urban communities. 
75% of project cost (labor, materials, plants, etc.) up to $4,000.
PCD to provide in-kind design and technical assistance.
Grantee to cover 25% of project and any costs that exceed cost-share max.


Removal of asphalt or concrete to reduce stormwater runoff.

Project removes at least 50 square feet of impervious pavement to reduce stormwater runoff. At least one third of the area must be replaced with native or pollinator-friendly plants. 
PCD to cover permit, labor, pavement preparation, and material removal/recycling costs up to $4,000.
PCD to provide in-kind design and technical assistance.
Grantee to purchase and plant all plants.


Installing a cistern to collect rainwater and reduce stormwater runoff.

Rain tank (cistern) must be at least 200 gallons and collect roof runoff that formerly went into stormwater/surface water systems.
Rain barrels are not applicable.
75% of project cost (labor, materials, etc.) up to $4,000.
PCD to provide in-kind design and technical assistance.
Grantee to cover 25% of project and any costs that exceed cost-share max.


Grant recipients are eligible to receive up to $4,000 for Water Quality project on their property (Cost share limits per water quality project type are listed above). FREE, in-kind technical assistance from PCD staff is available to all grant recipients.

PCD can provide direct payments to contractors and/or vendors for agreed upon services and materials for each project.

For Urban Habitat and Rain Tank projects, PCD will fund the entire project then invoice the grantee for 25% of project costs.

For Rain Garden and Depave projects, PCD will fund the entire project up front then invoice the grantee for plant material.

If the grantee would like to hire their own contractor and/or purchase any materials up front, they can do so and receive reimbursements for a portion of project costs after the project is completed. PCD will reimburse 75% of the cost of eligible projects for Urban Habitat and Rain Tank projects. PCD will reimburse all project costs, except plant material, for Rain Garden and Depave projects (up to $4,000). 

Applicants must receive a “Notice of Award” before making any project-related purchases or expenditures. Any costs incurred prior to receipt of the “Notice of Award” will not be eligible for reimbursement.

Additional Information and Requirements:

  • Property Ownership. You do not need to own the property where the project will be, but the property owner must provide written permission for the project and commit to maintaining the project. 
  • Permitting. With the exception of Depave projects, if permits are required for the project, the grantee is responsible for obtaining and/or purchasing them before beginning project work. A copy of the permit will be required before reimbursement. Permits for Depave projects will be obtained and paid for directly by PCD.
  • Agreements. Participants of this program will be required to sign (1) a Cooperator Agreement with PCD, (2) a Financial Assistance Contract (upon grant award) that demonstrates a commitment to maintain the project for its life, (3) a Reimbursement Form upon completion of the project (if applicable).
  • Grant Timeframe. Projects must be completed, and all receipts submitted to PCD within the timeframe designated in the “Notice of Award” acceptance letter (generally 6 months). Any work completed prior to the “Notice of Award” will not be reimbursable. If a grant is awarded and no evidence of progress has been made within 3 months, PCD reserves the right to withdraw the grant and award it to another applicant who is ready to proceed.
  • Use of Grant Funds. Grant funds are for implementation only (not intended for private design costs). Machinery rental may be reimbursed if it is necessary for implementing the Green Stormwater project. Direct contractor costs for implementation must be included in total project cost for reimbursement.
  • Maintenance. Property owners are expected to maintain the project for at least the “lifespan” of the practice, which is typically a minimum of 10 years.