CHICAGO, IL – May 3, 2011 The City of Chicago has launched the 2011 Chicago Sustainable Backyard Program to provide information and incentives to city residents to promote more environmentally-friendly landscapes in their front, side and backyards.
This summer, the Department of Environment is making rebate forms available to Chicago residents for up to 50% off their next local purchase of:
TREES (up to $100 back)
NATIVE PLANTS (up to $60 back)
COMPOST BINS (up to $50 back)
RAIN BARRELS (up to $40 back)
The Department of Environment will also be hosting a series of Sustainable Backyard Workshops to present the basics of installing a rain barrel, setting up a compost bin, planting a tree, planting a native garden and more.
Rebate amounts were allocated based on the value of the ecosystem services provided by each product. Ecosystem services are the benefits from healthy ecosystems, including greenhouse gas reduction, stormwater management, improved air quality, and improved human health. For each tree we plant, it is estimated that we receive services valued at roughly $1,200 over the life of that tree. All of these environmentally-friendly products are worth the investment and the City wants to help by reducing the costs through this rebate program.
“We want to help Chicago residents create sustainable landscapes that clean the air, reduce flooding, provide habitat for native wildlife, and combat climate change,”
commented Commissioner Suzanne Malec-McKenna. “By offering rebates, the City supports the growth of local markets for these sustainable products, while keeping them affordable to residents. Over time, we hope the demand generated by these incentives will help to increase the availability of these products across the City.”
Rebate forms will be made available at all Sustainable Backyard Workshops, participating garden centers and hardware stores, and on the City’s website at www.cityofchicago.org/rainbarrel. The full workshop schedule is available on the City’s website.
The Chicago Sustainable Backyard Program is coordinated by the Department of Environment in partnership with the Departments of Water Management and Streets and Sanitation, the Chicago Trees Initiative, and others. Funding for rebates comes from the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Pollution Prevention Program and a USDA Forest Service Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Grant.
The City website will be updated regularly with news about our Sustainable Backyard Program. Residents can be added to our contact list by sending an email to RainBarrel@cityofchicago.org or by calling 312.743.9283