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I just found out about the Go Blue! Community Makeover project—can I still participate?

The Grant Reimbursement portion of the Go Blue Community Makeover project is closed to additional households.  In fall 2009, all watershed property owners were invited to attend one of two community interest meetings about the project. At that time, residents registered to participate by expressing interest in best management practices that reduce stormwater runoff.   In order to meet the deadlines for the Clean Water Grant for which we applied, homeowners needed to indicate interest in participating prior to the grant application deadline  (December 1, 2009).

However, even if you are not a registered Go Blue! grant participant, there are many ways you can help Diamond Lake “Go Blue.” Following are a few suggestions.

Practice responsible lawn care. Follow the suggestions (many of them at no cost) on the Guiding Principles handout (PDF).

Install a rain barrel, native plants, or trees. All of these options help reduce of stormwater runoff and improve lake water quality. Even if you’re not a registered Go Blue! particpant, there are some discounts available available from Hedberg. Get the discount flyer here. Until May 31, you can pre-order rain barrels at a special discount of more than 60 percent. Get the rain barrel flyer here.

Friends of Diamond Lake is in the process of planning a workshop on how to install rain barrels, so watch the workshops page for that announcement.

Install a rain garden. Contact Metro Blooms to learn how a rain garden on your property can improve stormwater water quality. They conduct rain garden workshops for homeowners.

Check out the education resources listed on this website. We’ve pulled together a great list of online publications and information on topics related to water quality improvement and stormwater runoff pollution. Let us know if you have others to add.

The required April 13 rain garden workshop was full, what should I do?

Registered Go Blue! participants should go ahead and schedule an appointment with Metro Blooms for a visit with a designer (LDA). You can attend the workshop ‘A’ at another location before May 5. See metroblooms.org for their complete schedule. We’re running on a pretty fast schedule to get ready to install projects in June. It’s okay if the designer meets with you before you take the workshop.

How will projects be funded?

The grant is set up as a cost sharing program, where homeowners are required to pay for part of the installation and materials for projects on their properties. Logistically, the grant was awarded to Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD), which is the grant’s administrator. This document explains the cost share setup in more detail.

How much will projects cost?

Based on the interest expressed in potential projects last November, it is estimated that cost-sharing for most projects will be approximately 50/50 (homeowner pays 50 percent; grant pays 50 percent). Cost share estimates by project type are listed below. Actual costs may vary depending on your choice of materials and the conditions of your site.

The grant also requires that each participating residence documents at least 10 hours of volunteer time participating in the Go Blue! project.  This can include attendance at educational workshops, meeting with landscape design assistants, site preparation and planting, and other water quality friendly activities.

Estimated Cost-Share

Residential stormwater capture and re-use system
Estimated cost: $5000                           Grant cost share: $2000

Permeable pavement
Estimated cost: $18 per square foot     Grant cost share: $9 per square foot
“Permeable pavement” refers to driveways, patios, and walkways.  The grant will provide cost share only for replacement of existing hard surfaces.

Estimated cost: $95 per tree                 Grant cost share: $47.50
A number of native tree species will be available.  We will have a species list available soon.

Rain barrels (NOTE: updated cost estimates April 16, 2010)
(maximum 2 per household)
Estimated cost:
$65, $169, or $199 each          Grant cost share: 50 percent up to $98.50

Estimated cost: $1000 per garden        Grant cost share: $500 per garden
Based on an average residential raingarden size of 150 square feet.

What is the schedule?

The “buildout” for the program will take place in June. Additional schedule information is available here.

Many details on many levels—from funding allocation to whether or not street repairs will allow equipment access during the buildout are being worked out. Commitments from property owners will be required some time in April after more information about grant funding becomes available. Registered participants will be kept up-to-date by email as information becomes available.

How do I choose a contractor?

Contractors must attend a project launch meeting (to be scheduled in early May) in order for you to receive grant cost share reimbursement. If you are currently working with a contractor, please send the company name and contact information to Tina Plant at Hedberg Landscape & Masonry Supplies so we can invite your contractor to the project launch meeting. If you do not currently have a contractor, we will provide you with resource options from among the contractors who attend the mandatory project launch meeting. Each project will be carefully monitored by the Project Manager.  This document explains requirements for grant cost share eligibility in more detail.

Go to Friends of Diamond Lake main site