Contain the Rain – Stormwater Cost Share Program

Overland Park’s stormwater cost share program encourages residents and business owners to incorporate stormwater management strategies on their properties. These tactics reduce stormwater runoff and improve water quality.

Overland Park budgets funds for a cost share program to offset the costs of stormwater management projects that capture, slow down, or soak up stormwater close to its source.

Funding is available to applicants on a first come, first serve basis and is subject to the approval of the Public Works Department. Projects that are required to meet stormwater treatment requirements of the City’s building and construction code will not receive funding.

Applications reopen in April 2024.


Julie Roberts

Cloey Adrian

Eligible Projects

The City will help cover the costs of materials and contractor labor to install many stormwater treatment projects. Residents may be reimbursed for the purchase of certain native plants using the cost share program.

Native Plants

Local Native Plant Sales

Rain and Pollinator Gardens

Planting native landscaping reduces the amount of surface runoff that flows into our waterways. It helps rain infiltrate into the ground slowly to recharge streams, lakes, and wetlands at a more natural pace.

Stormwater runoff that flows through native landscapes is filtered, and contaminants are removed by plants and soil, results in cleaner, safer water.

Overland Park will cover 50 percent of the cost or a rain or pollinator garden, up to $1,000.

More Information

Rain Barrels

Rain barrels are 50-90 gallon barrels that capture water that would otherwise go down storm sewers and diverts it to areas of your property where it’s needed. They can help cut down on your water bill and move water away from your house that might otherwise cause foundation or flooding issues.

Rain barrels can be incorporated into your landscaping by planting or screening around the barrel. They are subject to applicable laws, including, but not limited to, the city property maintenance codes.

Overland Park will cover 50 percent of the cost of a rain barrel, up to $75 per barrel (limit of two).

Native Tree Plantings

Planting native trees reduces the amount of rainfall that reaches the ground, and therefore the amount of stormwater runoff. Trees filter out pollutants and sediment, taking up water from the soil through their roots, resulting in cleaner, safer water.

Native Trees for Overland Park

Overland Park will cover 50 percent of the cost of native tree plantings, up to $150 per tree (limit of three). Trees must be included on this list to qualify for the city’s cost share program.

Eligible Trees

How to Plant

Native Buffers and Swales

Overland Park will cover 50 percent of the cost of native buffers and swales, up to $1,000.

Swales, sometimes called bioswales, are shallow, gently sloped vegetated open channels that slow down runoff, filter out stormwater pollutants and allow some infiltration to occur. They can be designed as a form of bioretention and can also be used to convey stormwater runoff in place of pipes or ditches. As water flows along the swale, it is slowed down by the plants and the roughness of the landscaped surface. This allows sediments and pollutants to drop out and be processed by the plants and soil. Some stormwater soaks into the soil and is used by plants, and, depending on existing soil conditions, some stormwater infiltrates and provides groundwater recharge. Some water continues to flow downhill in the swale, but at a slower rate and sometimes at a lower volume than would flow through conventional storm pipes.

Buffer strips, sometimes called filter strips or biofilters, are gently sloped areas of vegetation and landscaping installed between or at the edge of impervious surfaces and turf areas. Stormwater runoff from sidewalks, driveways and streets, and irrigation overspray from turf areas is captured and filtered through vegetated buffer strips instead of draining onto the street.

A turf or lawn buffer is an area of vegetation and landscaping located between a lawn and any pavement or cement surface that can be watered without the use of sprinklers. Often, the buffer will be found between the front yard lawn and the sidewalk or street. In many cases, lawn areas have been constructed to drain to the sidewalk or the street. If this is the case, a buffer strip can accomplish two purposes: it will capture overspray and interrupt any runoff from the lawn.

Buffer strips are most effective when planted with drought-tolerant vegetation that requires minimal watering. They should be installed over soils that have adequate infiltration rates.

More Information

Learn About Native Buffers and Swales

Riparian Plants

Riparian plants cover land along stream banks, absorbing water and energy during storms and reducing the impact of flooding.

Overland Park will cover 50 percent of the cost of riparian plants, up to $1,000.

Rain Cisterns

Rain cisterns are water collection systems installed above or below ground, typically collecting 1,000+ gallons. Overland Park will cover 50 percent of the cost of a rain cistern, up to $1,000.

Permeable Pavement

Permeable pavement is a porous surface that catches precipitation, allowing it to slowly infiltrate into the soil. Permeable pavement should be used in areas that would otherwise be covered with an impermeable surface in order to be included in the cost share program.

More Information

Soil Restoration

Poor soil can make it difficult to know what type of plants will grow, how/when to apply chemicals (like fertilizers and pesticides) and prevent water from soaking into the ground. In order for soil restoration to be considered for reimbursement through the cost share program, you will need to get a free soil test done from the K-State JOCO extension office, then increase the organic matter by 1-3% through adding compost, manure, etc. You will then need to get your soil retested (the second test will not be free but you can include it in your cost share materials).

Free Soil Test

Building Healthy Soil

Floating Wetlands

Floating wetlands are container gardens that float on the surface of water. Local marsh and wetland plants filter pollutants in the water.

Learn More

Stormwater FAQs

What is stormwater?

Stormwater is the water that is generated when rain, snow melt, and surface drainage flows over land or impervious surfaces and does not percolate into the ground. Impervious surfaces are defined as hard surfaces where water is unable to soak or infiltrate into the ground, such as streets, parking lots, sidewalks, and rooftops.

Where does stormwater go?

As stormwater flows over land and impervious surfaces, it picks up sediment, contaminants, trash, nutrients, and other pollutants which then end up in the waterways of Overland Park untreated. Unmanaged stormwater adversely affects these waterways by causing water pollution, stream bank erosion, and flooding.

What can I do?

By capturing stormwater close to its source, slowing it down, and/or allowing it to be soaked up by plants and soil, pollutants and sediment are removed. This helps improve the water quality of our streams, creeks, and ponds as well as downstream in the Kansas and Missouri rivers.

Control Stormwater with Plants

Can cultivars be planted using the Cost Share Program?

Nativars are okay to use in the Cost Share Program, cultivars are not. Please refer to the native plant list on the OP website for acceptable plants. 

Overland Park strives to promote true native plants as research has shown they best serve the goals of promoting water quality, reducing the use of resources, and providing resources for native pollinators. 

Many native plants have been manipulated to change or enhance certain qualities such as color or size. These are called ‘cultivars’ or ‘nativars’ (cultivars of native plants). The key to knowing if you have a cultivar or nativar is to look for the scientific name on the plant tag. True natives will just be the two word scientific name (Purple Coneflower is Echinacea purpurea).  Cultivars/nativars will have a common name in single quotations or an “X” indicating what was crossed. For example, a common nativar of coneflower is Echinacea purpurea ‘Bright Star’. A cultivar may be written Echinacea ‘Daydream’ or Echinacea purpurea x laevigata. Both of these indicate a cross between two species – the first leaves off the species information, the second tells you which species were crossed. 

If you are unsure, please reach out for assistance. 

Julie Roberts /
Cloey Adrian /