On April 22, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) launched a new website for the Chicago Sustainable Backyards Program. The program emphasizes the use of green infrastructure to prevent flooding in basements and neighborhoods and to improve water quality in Lake Michigan.

Chicago residents can receive up to 50% rebates on sustainable backyard improvement purchases, such as trees, native plants, compost bins, and rain barrels. With the new website, rebate applications can be completed online. Chicago residents can use a mobile device or digital camera to quickly upload a photo of their receipt.

In addition, an interactive map helps residents locate retailers, and an events calendar connects them with workshops. Check out the website for a blog on sustainable backyard advice and success stories from the program.

A CDOT initiative, the program is managed by the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT). It is part of CNT’s “Smart Water for Smart Regions” initiative focused on stormwater management in the Great Lakes. The Sustainable Backyards Program complements “Wetrofit,” a new CNT program that also utilizes green infrastructure solutions to solve basement flooding issues and provides audits and resources. Read more.