Level 1 Landscape Grant Guidance


This policy exists to provide assistance to public and private landowners for implementing projects that support one or more of the following:

  • Prevention of flooding or mitigation of drought
  • Water quality improvement or increase in watershed storage capacity
  • Preservation, protection, and restoration of native plant and wildlife communities, especially along lakes, rivers, and wetlands
  • Protection and preservation of groundwater quality and quantity
  • Available funds will vary by year. Once the annual amount is depleted, applicants will be advised to reapply the following year.


The following conditions exist to meet eligibility requirements. Cost share grants are available for the following:

  • All residents of VLAWMO
  • Non-profit and religious organizations in VLAWMO
  • Government agencies in VLAWMO
  • Business and corporations in VLAWMO
  • Public and private schools in VLAWMO

Examples of eligible projects include the following:

  • Raingardens
  • Redirect water runoff projects
  • Volume reduction and runoff treatment projects (infiltration basins and trenches, cisterns, green roofs, filtration)
  • Unique solutions for soil erosion and sediment control practices
  • Native habitat restoration with priority given to waterways, lakes, ponds, buffers, and wetlands
  • Purchase of rainbarrels to recycle rainwater
  • Pervious asphalt and pavers

Example of non-eligible projects include the following:

  • Aeration systems for ponds and lakes

The following conditions exist to meet eligibility requirements for expenses shared:

  • VLAWMO may offer to fund 75% of the cost of materials and contracted labor; up to a $2000.00 maximum. Eligible materials are those which stay on the property such as plants, erosion control blanket, mulch, and top soil. Eligible labor costs must be contracted and are subject to approval by VLAWMO staff. Ineligible materials would include work gloves, shovels, tools and equipment used to implement the project but may be used again for future projects. Ineligible labor would include the use of friends or a volunteer group helping to implement the project.
  • Projects completed or in progress are not eligible for funding.
  • Submitted projects must be for items above and beyond VLAWMO’s Development Standards.
  • The cost share application and cost share agreement must be approved by VLAWMO and signed by both parties prior to commencement of work. 
  • A site visit by VLAWMO staff is required once the project is complete before a reimbursement check is released to the Grantee.
  • Grantee must agree to maintain the project area for a minimum of 5 years. Maintenance includes weeding, watering, removal of invasive species, replacement of plants, repair of inlets/outlets, and other duties to ensure that the project is providing the intended water quality benefit. The site may be inspected by VLAWMO staff on an annual basis to ensure compliance.
  • Grantee must complete project and submit reimbursement request within one (1) year from date of grant approval.
  • Property owners may receive one Landscape Level 1 Cost Share Grant or one Landscape Level 2 Cost Share Grant per calendar year.

Evaluation Criteria

Projects will be judged on the following:

  • Are the activities and goals clearly stated and support one or more of the Cost Share Program purposes?
  • Are there concisely defined, measurable results?
  • Has a reasonable budget, work plan, and timeline been submitted?
  • What water resources border the property? Is it within priority drainage areas or provide water quality treatment for large pieces of land?

Selection Process

The VLAWMO Technical Evaluation Commission and staff will review the applications. Staff will advise the TEC of a recommendation. Applications must be received by the 25th of the month PRIOR to the next TEC meeting. The TEC will make the final selections at its monthly meetings (2nd Friday of each month). This is a competitive grant program and proposals that are incomplete will not be referred to the TEC for consideration.

Funding Agreement

Each project selected will enter into an agreement with VLAWMO defining the obligations of the applicant and VLAWMO. This, but is not limited to, such items as terms of the agreement, use of funds, cost overruns, and cancellation. The agreement also allows VLAWMO access to the project area for evaluation and promotion of the project. Applicant is responsible for securing any and all permits for the work. This agreement must be signed by both parties prior to commencement of work on the project; funding will only cover work done after the agreement has been signed.