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About SupportScapes

SupportScapes is part of the RainSmart program. It is a residential incentive program that reimburses elligible Chattanooga residents for installing SupportScapes on their properties.


What is a SupportScape?

A SupportScape is an intentional planting of native plant species that is meant to mimic the stormwater mitigation that naturally occurs in meadows, forests, and other natural areas.

Traditional yards are mainly made of turf grass, which has shallow root systems. While turf can give an even layer of vegetation to walk and play on, it does very little for stormwater management, or the environment. Deep rooted native plants can better hold together the soil, and can uptake more water than a traditional lawn thanks to their extensive root systems. They also have the added benefit of attracting and supporting native insect & animal species, giving support to our ecosystem. As they have developed over time with the local environment, these plant species require little support from traditional landscaping tools that can potentially harm our ecosystem & natural water ways, such as herbicides, pesticides, & fertilizers.


SupportScapes goals:

  • To mimic the stormwater mitigation that occurs in natural areas

  • Promote stormwater quality & reduce its quantity by utilizing native plants to absorb & slow stormwater runoff

  • Reduction of the amount of herbicide, pesticide, & fertilizer used in residential environments that can run off into our municiple storm drain system- which leads to our creeks & streams

  • Reduction of sedimentation to our waterways via erosion using native plantings

  • Promotion of biodiversity, pollinators, natural habitat & food sources for native flora & fauna


Am I eligible?

  • Must be a City of Chattanooga resident
  • Applicant must own the property (or have homeowner's approval)
  • If you have already planted native plants in your yard and it has been over 30 days since planting was completed, you are not eligible for reimbursement through SupportScapes for that planting
  • Cannot currently work for the City of Chattanooga
  • Must be up to date on water quality fee and property taxes


How does it work?

Install an approved SupportScape planting using the process below to receive reimbursement for 75% of your rebate eligible costs, up to $500/property.*

*Reimbursement subject to approval by Water Quality Program Management & must meet all criteria of the program


SupportScapes Templates

  • Choose the plant species you would like that meet your yard's soil, light, & water requirements. You can choose species from the following list: the SupportScapes plant guide or choose your species independently 


The Process:

  1. Fill out this application
  2. A RainSmart representative will contact you to schedule a time for an assessment of your yard*
  3. Identify the correct soil & light conditions to pick the best plants for a successful project
  4. Choose a SupportScapes planting template that fits your needs, or create your own. Submit your design to us via email to ChattanoogaWQ@chattanooga.gov (design approval pending). Please be sure to include the scientific/latin name of your plant species as well as the common name*
  5. Sign & return our Homeowner's Agreement
  6. Once your design has been approved, you can begin your planting project. Be sure to keep all receipts, plant tags etc. for plant ID & proof of purchase
  7. We will come take photos of your completed SupportScape planting. If it has been planted correctly & we have all necessary documents, we will begin processing your reimbursement

*If you have already planted native plants in your yard and it has been over 30 days since planting was completed, you are not eligible for reimbursement for that planting through SupportScapes


Photo by Phillip Stevens and Matt Lea