2019: Our First Rain Campaign Success Story


The Beginning of the Rain Campaign

In fall 2019, cities of the Des Moines Metro kicked off the Rain Campaign as a unified effort to promote city stormwater reimbursement programs for residents. These programs enable residents to install stormwater best management practices (BMPs) such as rain barrels, soil quality restoration, and rain gardens at their homes to reduce stormwater runoff helping to improve water quality and decrease local flooding.

Why are these programs needed?

The Urban Umbrella

Our city has been developed with expansive roads, parking lots, large housing developments, and highly compacted soils that act as an umbrella. When it rains, most water does not soak into the ground. Instead, water runs off buildings and parking lots and into storm drains that lead directly to our local waterways, decreasing water quality. During large rain events, the land is unable to manage rainfall increasing the risk for flooding and erosion & streambank failures.

Soaking up the Rain

Our city has great potential to soak up more rainwater, but only if we take actions to improve the land. Residential areas make up about 25% of the Des Moines Metro. By encouraging and enabling urban residents to install rain barrels, soil quality restoration, or other BMPs, we can poke holes in the urban umbrella allowing the land to soak up more water. Collectively, these efforts by individual residents can help to reduce local flooding and improve water quality.

Fall 2019 Achievements

Fall 2019 was our first active season launching the Rain Campaign.

We set a goal of 50 projects to be installed with urban residents.

Between July 2019 and December 2019, we reached our goal installing 51 projects with residents across the metro!

In addition to working with urban residents, we worked with partners to identify and train local contractors to understand and specialize in stormwater BMPs with an emphasis on soil quality restoration. With funding available to residents and contractors at the ready to work with landowners, some of our first soil quality restoration projects as part of the Rain Campaign were installed.

Expanding our network of local & trained contractors is a continuous effort. We encourage local contractors and businesses to reach out to us to get involved with the Rain Campaign as we expand our programs. Our current local contractor list can be found here.

2020: Moving Forward

Since fall 2019, the Rain Campaign has gained momentum. We launched 2020 outreach efforts at the Des Moines Home + Garden Show where we were able to connect with hundreds of residents. In February, our website RainCampaign.org was launched to be a clearning house of information for each stormwater reimbursement program in Polk County, local contractors, and other information relating to these projects. Working together as cities and with residents and local contractors, our goal for spring 2020 is to install 100 projects acorss the Metro.

Looking for ways to make your impact with the Rain Campaign?

  • Install a stormwater BMP at your home – start by calling your city today!
  • Spread the word – Share our website “RainCampaign.org” with your friends, family, neighbors and more
  • Help educate our community – Do you have local group such as a neighborhood assocation, sustainability group, or other community organization wanting to learn more? Contact us for more information.

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