To find out if you are eligible for this program please visit the Long Island Regional Planning Council (LIRPC) website.

The Long Island Garden Rewards Program will open on March 1, 2024.

The Problem with Nitrogen

Nitrogen is the leading cause of water quality deterioration on Long Island. Excess nitrogen can cause toxic algal blooms that lead to low oxygen conditions, fish kills, degraded wetlands, and marine habitats. Nitrogen also contaminates the groundwater which is the sole source of Long Island’s drinking water. 

You can help make a difference!  

Rain barrels, rain gardens, and native plant gardens all work to reduce the amount of rainwater flowing across your yard, which will reduce the amount of nitrogen going to the water. Capturing water and keeping it on your lawn with rain barrels and rain gardens, or by slowing down water runoff with native plant gardens, can all help you conserve water!  

Learn more about the impacts of nitrogen on the waters of Long Island.

About the Garden Rewards Program

This program offers reimbursement of up to $500 total for making your yard more water friendly! See below for details about eligible projects.

Rain Barrels

A rain barrel collects and stores rainwater from your roof that would otherwise be lost to runoff. Rain barrels are a great way to conserve water for your use while also reducing runoff from stormwater. 

Rain Barrel Requirements

  • This program requires the placement and maintenance of a rain barrel for a minimum of 3 years on your property.
  • The minimum rain barrel size is 50 gallons.
  • Proper rain barrel maintenance includes:
    • Mosquito netting is required, but can be any type of screen that would deter mosquitos.
    • Dumping the water or turning the rain barrel upside down before winter to prevent freezing.

This program covers the cost of a rain barrel and mosquito netting/screens up to $125 per barrel with a total cap of $500. Materials must be purchased after May 1, 2024. This program does not cover the cost of installation and stands. 

Resources:

Rain Garden

Rain gardens collect rainwater from roofs, driveways, or streets and allow that rain to soak into the ground.   

Rain Garden Requirements

This program covers necessary materials to construct a rain garden including mulch, gravel, soil amendments, and native Long Island plants. When built properly, rain gardens can filter stormwater before it reaches local waterways, mitigate flooding caused by pavement, and enhance your yard with a low maintenance landscaping.  

This program requires the use of native plants in a rain garden that is at least 20 square feet in size. This rain garden needs to be maintained for a minimum of 3 years 

What this program covers – up to $500 for the purchase of native plants and necessary materials to construct a rain garden. Native plants are those listed as part of the resources below. Materials must be purchased after May 1, 2024. If you have any questions about whether a plant you want to include in your garden is eligible, contact Livia Graham (lgraham@neiwpcc.org). 

What this program does not cover – non-native plants, biennials, or annuals. This program will not reimburse for equipment needed to install the rain garden (e.g., shovels, wheelbarrows, etc.) 

Resources:

How to properly construct a rain garden:

Eligible plant list (the program will only cover plants listed in the resources below!)

Native Plantings

Native plants don’t necessarily collect runoff, however they promote healthy ecosystems. Native gardens can reduce water usage, reduce fertilizer and pesticide usage, and promote biodiversity. These native plants help promote a healthy ecosystem and are more resistant to local weather. 

Program Requirements

This program requires the use of native plants on your property. Native gardens and plants must be maintained for a minimum of 3 years.  

This program covers up to $500 for the purchase of native plants. Native plants are those listed as part of the resources below. If you have any questions about whether a plant you want to include in your garden is eligible, contact Alex Atkinson (aatkinson@neiwpcc.org).

What this program does not cover: Non-native plants, biennials, or annuals. 

See below for eligible plants, program will only cover plants listed in the resources below.

Horticulture Guide

Long Island Native Plant List – PDF

Long Island Native Plant List – Excel


Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan (LINAP) and Additional Resources


Claim Your Reimbursement

Long Island Garden Rewards Reimbursement

Reimbursement form for the Long Island Garden Rewards Program

Reimbursement Materials

To be fully reimbursed for your rain barrel, rain garden or native garden you need to upload a picture of the installed item along with a copy of any associated receipts. You can apply for an individual project or combination of projects. However, the total reimbursement is not to exceed $500 per site. Materials must be purchased after May 1, 2023. Reimbursement is subject to available funding. For inquiries please contact aatkinson@neiwpcc.org.

Choose whether to continue with reimbursement request for rain barrel, rain garden, native plantings or a combination of the three.

Rain Barrel

Max. file size: 50 MB.

Upload a photo of your rain barrel here!

Minimum 50 gallons.

Rain Garden

Max. file size: 50 MB.

Upload a photo of your rain garden here!

Minimum size – 20 square feet per garden (For Example: 4 x 5 feet).

Please provide a list of native plants used for the project here! Please also include the number of each species of plant.

Native Plantings

Upload a photo of your native plants here!
Max. file size: 50 MB.

Max. file size: 50 MB.

Max. file size: 50 MB.

Please provide a list of native plants used for the project here! Please also include the number of each species of plant.

Reimbursement

For Rain Barrel $125 per rain barrel with a maximum of $500.
For Rain Garden up to $500 for native plants only. Annuals not eligible for reimbursement. Total maximum reimbursement of $500.

Max. file size: 50 MB.

Upload your receipts here!

Certification

By checking the box below I certify that I have followed the requirements laid out for the Long Island Garden Rewards Program.

I certify that this reimbursement is not to replace previously funded rain barrels, rain garden materials, or native plants.

I also certify that I have not received funding for these materials through other federal, state or municipally funded programs.
I certify that materials were purchased after May 1, 2023.

I hereby authorize that photos provided with this form may be used by NEIWPCC, LINAP, LISS, LIRPC and/or NYSDEC for promotional materials related to this program.

I authorize a yard sign to be placed in my yard highlighting my participation in the program and will keep it for the remainder of the growing season.

Acknowledgement of Certification(Required)