FAQs: RAIN Grant

Q: Why Newmarket Creek?

RAIN Pilot Area detail - verticalCity Council selected Newmarket Creek as its initial pilot area to begin to test implementation of Resilient Hampton’s vision and goals setting document Living with Water Hampton: A Holistic Approach to Addressing Sea Level Rise and Resiliency.  Newmarket Creek is a complicated system faced with multiple forces of water – rain, tidal, sea level rise – and cuts through major residential and commercial areas and outfalls at Langley AFB.  This gives us lots of opportunities to begin to test concepts which, if work well here, can inform replicable solutions in other parts of the city.

 Q: How is RAIN connected to the Resilient Hampton initiative?

RAIN was born from a combination of citizen interest and an understanding of watershed dynamics.  Many citizens expressed a desire to participate in the Resilient Hampton initiative and doing parcel scale projects is one way of participating and gaining more appreciation for how water is managed.  Solving water issues is important but maybe more critical is connecting people as we learn to protect our downstream neighbors.  

Q: How does this help us address flooding? 

Our January 2019 Newmarket Creek charrette identified a theme — slow, store, redirect, and adapt.  So, capturing rain where it falls instead of trying to deal with so much water volume and energy downstream is a smart way to implement that theme.

Q: What is the Big Bethel Blueway and is RAIN related?

The Big Bethel Blueway is one of the first conceptual pilot projects we have advance to full engineering design.  It will transform a large ditch into a linear neighborhood stormwater park asset.  We are adding weirs to manage water storage and reworking the ditch cross sections to allow for additional storage and space for native plantings to help soak up water and beautify the park.  A boardwalk will connect people to the stormwater park, provide educational opportunities, and further develop support for similar water management projects.  RAIN’s initial pilot area is associated with the Big Bethel Blueway’s location.  Approximately 1000 invitation were sent with the hopes that a few hundred would apply.  RAIN Actions, installed by property owners along the Blueway, will begin to manage rainfall before it becomes runoff to the Blueway.  It all works together.

Q: When can applicants begin to receive reimbursements?

RAIN recently went live to accept applications for this planting season.  Applications will be processed and once a grant offer will is executed, the property owner will install the RAIN Actions and request inspection.  Reimbursement will be on a rolling basis with the aim to reimburse no later than mid-January.  As a pilot grant program with help from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, we are evaluating the process, soliciting feedback, and tweaking the program this season and expect to broaden invitations next season.