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About the Rebate Program

The Green Venture NATURhoods residential rebate program provides several incentives, including a rebate from Green Venture, for Hamilton residents to install approved green infrastructure projects on their own or by hiring a contractor.

A limited number of projects will be funded in 2024 (up to $500 per household). Projects are selected if they meet program requirements and will be assessed on the expected impact to stormwater management, as well as integration of design workshop elements demonstrated in applications and home consultations.

Applications for 2024 will open in March 2024 after the design workshops. Interested applicants must attend a workshop.

As there are limited spots available, preferred projects are:

  • in public view, where the general public would come across this project and learn more about Green Infrastructure
  • properties that address drainage and stormwater issues (ie. homes that experience flooding, homes that have lots of existing
  • impermeable surfaces that do not absorb water)
  • homeowners who are willing to share their experience with the larger community (may include participating in video or in-person tours)
  • gardens that will prioritize using native plants (not ornamental or invasive species)
  • located in the Chedoke Creek area (Ward 1, 2, 8, 7, 12)
  • applicants who have not received a NATURhoods rebate before

Upcoming workshops: 

NATURhoods participants need to attend the design workshop OR the Ask the Experts event. This is to ensure you speak with the rain coach and Green Venture staff about your proposed project. Rebates are limited. The design workshop provides you with important information to assess your eligibility, determine if a green infrastructure project is right for your property and to learn how to complete the official application form for consideration.

Gardening Club, rain garden workshop (optional)
Thurs. March 7 2024, 6-8pm a Pinch

Design workshop (mandatory)
Wednesday, March 13 2024, 7:00 – 8:30pm

Ask the Experts – Mini Consultations for a Greener Home (mandatory)
Sunday, April 14⋅1:30 – 3:30pm

View our events calendar for more details about upcoming events.

Who can apply?

  • Must be located in Hamilton, ON
  • Must be the homeowner or have written consent to complete the work
  • Must be able to complete program milestones in the Summer (check-in dates and final project due dates, expense tracking and photo progress)
  • Wants to learn more about native plants, increasing biodiversity, reducing flooding and pollution, and more!
  • Interested in rain gardens, water harvesting, reducing stormwater runoff
  • May have a home or lawn that experiences flooding
A rain garden with green native plants collecting rain from a black downspout.

How to apply for a rebate

  • Attend Design Workshop: Participants must attend a NATURhoods Design Workshop before completing the Residential Program Application Form. At this workshop, you will learn how to build a rain garden and experts will answer your questions about native plants, design, water flow and more!
  • Rebate Program Application: After a design workshop, interested residents will be sent an application form.
    • One-on-One Consultations: Eligible participants will receive a follow-up from Green Venture staff to either book an in-person consultation with our Rain Coach or a virtual appointment to discuss their project more in depth.
    • Access to Rain Coach Feedback and Resources: After meeting with our team, you will confirm if your project will go ahead as planned. Green Venture staff will provide resources as needed regarding your project. You may contact our team including the Rain Coach along the way, from plant suggestions to soil amendment tips. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions to help with designing and building your project!
  • Project Milestones: Our team will let you know when check-in dates are approaching, remind you of expense tracking and to take progress photos along the way.
  • Celebrate your projects: Green Venture staff will visit your site to verify your project, collect receipts and provide you with a complimentary lawn sign.

Slow it down, soak it up!

Reduce and prevent flooding • Preserve water quality • Support biodiversity • Replenish groundwater • and more!

Eligible expenses start AFTER the downspout and include:

  • Materials or contractors associated with:
    • permeable pavements
    • bioswales
    • green roofs and blue roofs
    • rain gardens
    • infiltration galleries
    • soak away pits
  • Rain barrels and other rainwater harvesting tools
  • Tree planting
  • Capital costs on your home such as: eavestroughs, roof, waterproofing basement
Mature rain garden with a downspout and a NATURhoods sign

Past projects

2023 projects

2022 projects

Type of projects

permeable driveway

Permeable pavement allows ground water levels to be replenished and reduces peak runoff periods which can minimize local flooding.

rain garden example

The first step before starting a green infrastructure project is disconnecting the downspouts. You need water to reach your infrastructure, and if it’s currently hooked up to the sewer, that water can’t connect and slow down on your own property.

rocks for rain garden

Rain gardens include a water source (downspout or rain barrel) and they are filled with native plants with deep roots to facilitate infiltration in a bowl shaped planting area. They have an outflow to allow clean water to exit the system.

Things to consider before you start a project

Utilities

Before a shovel hits the ground you MUST find out what’s under the soil. Always call for underground locates!

Call or book online, Ontario One Call

Property Lines

You don’t want to start digging and realize you are in your neighbour’s yard.

The City of Hamilton has an interactive zoning map you can use to locate your property and see where the lines on your property start and end.

Property Size

When deciding on a green infrastructure feature it’s important to consider the size of your property to ensure you can place the feature within the recommended distance. These features will infiltrate water so we want to ensure you aren’t too close to your building’s foundation, other hard surfaces etc.

Use this site map with the space considerations to sketch out your project(s).

Soil Types

Soils are divided into three main classifications: sand, loam and clay. Plants can grow in a variety of soils, but most will identify what is most optimal. Look for these identifiers when purchasing plants. But if you don’t know how to test your soil try the ribbon test!

Soil type will also influence your infiltration rate. That is how long it takes for water to make its way through the ground or infiltrate. There are some tests you can try out. You’ll need to dig a hole, so remember to call before that shovel hits the ground.

Our calculations worksheet will take you through the steps for performing both of these tests!

Learn more about the different soil types using this list.

Check out our NATURhoods calculations sheet to perform a ribbon test and infiltration test.

Extra reading and activities if you want to learn more about soils!

Catchment Area

For your project to infiltrate water it needs a source! This can be from your driveway, roof or any other surface that collects water. Our calculations worksheet will help you find out how much water your feature can infiltrate and the corresponding size of the feature.

Check out our NATURhoods calculations sheet to calculate your catchment area.

Slope of property

It’s important that the feature slopes AWAY from your property. It will hold lots of water, so we don’t want it sloping towards your foundation. Using our calculations sheet you can find out the percentage of your slope.

Check out our NATURhoods calculations sheet to calculate your slope.

Source water protection

It is important to consider our source water aka where our drinking water from the ground is located. If you are considering a project where lots of pollutants will be soaked up ensure you aren’t within a vulnerable area, highly susceptible to contamination

Find out where your property is located using this map from the Province of Ontario, and learn more about source water protection.

Permits and Zoning By-Laws

A Building Permit is required for the construction of detached structures that are greater than 10 square metres (108 square feet) in area. Building Permits are necessary to ensure that fire, construction and structural safety standards are met. Permits also confirm that the project follows City Zoning By-laws. It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure that a Building Permit is obtained for construction or demolition.

Residential Accessory Buildings in Hamilton require a permit.

Frequently Asked Questions

A rain garden is a garden designed to capture water and allow it to infiltrate into the ground. Some rain gardens are constructed to infiltrate water runoff from roof downspouts—these enable you to disconnect your roof downspout from the city storm water system and utilize that water in your own yard. Others help to deal with pooling in yards by redirecting the water into an area of good infiltration. Rain gardens are not meant to contain standing water—they should drain within 24-48 hours of a large rainfall. Learn more. 

Stormwater runoff is the water from rainfalls or snow melting that either gets absorbed by plants and soil or flows over hard surfaces and into sewers, lakes, and streams. Harmful pollutants such as chemicals, pet waste, litter and fertilizer make their way to our waterways through urban runoff which can make fish and other aquatic species sick or even kill them. It can also cause a bloom or drought of certain types of aquatic organisms which causes an imbalance in the ecosystem. The water that runs over hard surfaces is also much warmer. This temperature increase can be harmful to aquatic life. Larger storms due to climate change also cause higher volumes of water to run through our systems. This can cause erosion which breaks down the stabilization of channels, leading to changes in waterway functionality.

Green Infrastructure or low impact development (LID) is a method of managing rain where it falls to slow it down, soak it up and keep it clean! Some examples of Green Infrastructure are: rain gardens, bioswales, green roofs and more!

Virtual Green Infrastructure Garden Tour

We created this virtual tour to allow Hamilton residents to learn about types of green infrastructure that is being used by homeowners in their city. Follow along as we visit the amazing yards of these enthusiastic Hamilton homeowners. They discuss what inspired them to implement green infrastructure on their properties, how it’s changed their landscape, and some tips and tricks for those looking to get started in their yards!

Resources

Our Partners + Funders:

Ontario Trillium Foundation, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks*, Conserver Society of Hamilton, City of Hamilton, Hamilton Community Foundation, Clean Foundation and Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Canada.

*This project has received funding support from the Government of Ontario. Such support does not indicate endorsement by the Government of Ontario of the contents of this material.

 

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