Rainscaping Iowa is a statewide campaign promoting infiltration based storm water management practices that result in the improvement and protection of Iowa's soil and water resources. The program is a collaboration among several state and local agencies in Iowa and is dedicated to educating the public and training professionals in infiltration-based stormwater management. Rainscaping Iowa is funded through a variety of state and local sources, including the state Department of Transportation’s Living Roadway Trust, along with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural and Land Stewardship, Department of Economic Development, the Iowa Storm Water Education Program, and the Polk Soil and Water Conservation District.
As described by Rainscaping Iowa, rainscapes look like traditional landscapes, but are also designed to retain and infiltrate stormwater runoff generated from a targeted area, such as a rooftop, driveway, parking lot, street and turf. Basic “rainscapes” include: native landscaping, native turf, rain barrels, rain gardens and soil quality restoration. Engineered rainscapes may be bioswales, bioretention cells, green roofs or permeable pavement.
The Rainscaping program has two primary goals:
1) Build awareness and understanding for rainscapes through education and outreach. The website has many publications that explain the rainscaping green infrastructure practices in non-engineering terms, and methods to promote these practices within your own community.
2) Provide quality training and a means to identify qualified professionals working throughout Iowa who are able to design and install rainscapes that function well after construction is complete through a certification process.
The program is supported by the “funding, time, and talent” of its partners and stakeholders:
- Iowa Department of Natural Resources
- Iowa Department of Agricultural and Land Stewardship
- Iowa Department of Economic Development
- Iowa Department of Transportation – Living Roadway Trust
- Iowa Storm Water Education Program
- Polk Soil and Water Conservation District
- Green Infrastructure Toolkit > How to Pay for Green Infrastructure: Funding and Financing > State Funding
- Best practice
- Education/training materials