RainScapes Congregations


There are more than 500 congregations throughout Montgomery County and many are located near our most impaired waterways.

Further, more than half of the congregations in the County do not have stormwater management practices. This presents a great opportunity for communities of faith and the County to come together over their shared commitment to environmental stewardship. 

Together, we can work towards improving the grounds of the congregations and the health of nearby waterways. 


RainScapes Projects on Congregation Grounds


What Can My Congregation Do to Help our Waterways?

Congregations can participate in the County's RainScapes Rewards program!

A RainScape  is a landscape or design technique that helps reduce stormwater runoff from individual properties. They prevent stormwater and pollution from flowing into storm drains, which lead to streams.  Types of RainScapes include rain gardens, conservation landscapes and other site enhancing stormwater management features.

Congregations are eligible for RainScapes Rewards Rebates of up to $20,000 per parcel!

The application for the program is available here: RainScapes Application Portal.

Congregations in Montgomery County may be looking for grant support to do a project. Please see the Montgomery County Restoration and Outreach Grant program administered by the Chesapeake Bay Trust. Other funding opportunities can be researched through the Maryland Environmental Finance Center

For more information and resources on the RainScapes program please  click here.


Examples of RainScapes Projects

This map below shows the 521 congregations in Montgomery County, highlighting the 15 of those that have a RainScapes for Congregations project.  The sites are all symbolized by presence or absence of stormwater management facilities (SWMF), and additional information can be displayed by clicking the points.  

Watershed boundaries are shaded and shown, with the legend identifying each by color.  When you zoom in closer in any given area, the background will change to aerial imagery to provide more visual detail. 


(Please click on the arrows in the top left corner to view legend)  
Can't view the map? Contact us at  rainscapes@montgomerycountymd.gov
View larger map



Are you interested in having a RainScapes staff member provide a presentation to your congregation? Send an email to  rainscapes@montgomerycountymd.gov to request a speaker. Please list "Congregational Speaker Request" in the subject line. Presentations depend on availability. 


Resources for Congregations

Guides to Getting Started  

Sacred Waters: RainScapes and Congregations in Action

  • The path of rainwater from the roof to the stream and everything in between is captured in this professional 8 minute film .  Particular focus is on how Montgomery County communities of faith are re-wilding and installing RainScapes on their properties to both manage stormwater and provide a tangible living example of their spiritual values.

This film was funded by a Montgomery County Watershed Restoration and Outreach grant. 



Sacred Grounds: Faith-Based Certified Wildlife Habitat Program

  • National Wildlife Federation's Sacred Grounds is a program that gives people of all faiths the opportunity to connect to nature at their place of worship. The link above will take you to their informational website about the program; many Sacred Grounds projects can also qualify to be RainScapes Rewards projects.

Videos of Sacred Grounds Workshops 

  • In 2015, congregations from Montgomery County participated in two workshops to learn how to beautify their congregational grounds and reduce its environmental footprint. These workshops were funded by a Montgomery County Watershed Restoration and Outreach grant.  
  • View the playlist below of presentations from the workshops. They provide valuable information on how to get started.