Columbus GreenSpot

GreenSpot Backyards
Conservation Program

The GreenSpot Rain Barrel program is expanding to GreenSpot Backyards in 2015 with the ambition of encouraging residents to “go beyond rain barrels”. GreenSpot Backyards will still offer classes & the online course but will be implementing reimbursements up to $50 for the participant after they purchase one of the following: an approved rain barrel, compost bin or native plants.

Not all participants are eligible for each rebate. Rebates available are based on your tax district.
*Your tax district is not the same as your postal address

To find out if you qualify, verify your address online through The Franklin County Auditor. For other questions, please call (614) 486-9613.

Eligible Tax Districts
 Rebates Available
 Franklin County
  Rain Barrel
  1 Rebate
 City of Columbus 
 *Must be Columbus Tax District  
 Rain Barrel, Compost Bin, Native Plants
  2 Rebates
 *Must be on 2 different items 
 Unincorporated Franklin County
 Rain Barrel, Compost Bin, Native Plants
  1 Rebate  
Participating Municipalities:
  • Bexley
  • Canal Winchester
  • Gahanna
  • Hilliard
  • New Albany
  • Obetz
  • Reynoldsburg
  • Upper Arlington
  • Westerville
  • Worthington 
 Rain Barrel, Compost Bin, Native Plants 
 1 Rebate


Partnering Communities

Bexley Canal Winchester Franklin County Gahanna Columbus Hilliard New Albany Obetz Reynoldsburg Upper Arlington Westerville Worthington

Step 1:

Register as a GreenSpot! Why join GreenSpot? For a couple of really good reasons, actually. One, it's a small thing you can do to make a big impact on the health and future of Columbus. Two, it couldn't be easier.

It's simple, really. It takes just three key commitments to making your home a greener place: Conserve Energy, Conserve Water, and Reduce, Reuse & Recycle. Within each, you decide which lifestyle changes fit you and your home best.

Ready to get green?

Make Your House a GreenSpot!

Step 2: Choose Your Way to Participate

Take the Online Course and Quiz

Begin the Online Course Now

Online Course Description:
  • Watch a slide show presentation on stormwater education and backyard conservation with a focus on residential use of rain barrels, rain gardens, composting, native plants and lawn care.
  • You'll then take a short quiz at the end of the presentation covering what you've just learned. 
  • After you pass the quiz with a 75% or better your information will be sent to Franklin Soil and Water to verify eligibility for the rebate.
  • Once we verify your information & eligibility, we will email or mail you a "Voucher".
  • Once you purchase an approved Rain Barrel, Compost Bin or Native Plants, mail in your voucher, copy of your receipt and photo of installed item to Franklin Soil and Water.
  • Once we receive this information, we will process your rebate and contact you once we've mailed your rebate check.


Register for a Local Workshop

Download Registration Form

In-Person Workshop Description:
  • The GreenSpot Backyards Workshops are free for any to attend.
  • Print the registration form, fill in your information and mail to Franklin Soil and Water.  (Address is on form).
  • Once we receive your registration form, we will verify your information & contact you to confirm your eligibility and registration.
  • Attend the workshop you choose (dates & location are on form). At the conclusion of the workshop you will receive a "Voucher".
  • Once you purchase an approved Rain Barrel, Compost Bin or Native Plants, mail in your voucher, copy of your receipt and photo of installed item to Franklin Soil and Water.
  • Once we receive this information, we will process your rebate and contact you once we've mailed your rebate check.


    Frequently Asked Questions

    Do I Qualify for a Rebate?

    Rebates are only available to City of Columbus, Participating Municipalities and Unincorporated Franklin County residents. Depending on your tax or municipal district you may qualify for a rebate. (Restrictions apply & only available while supplies last).

    We will verify your information before we send out a "Voucher" for your rebate but if you want to make sure you are eligible before you participate call (614) 486-9613 to confirm.

    What items are eligible for a Rebate?

    Rain Barrels: Any rain barrel with a diverter system is eligible.
    Compost Bins: Any compost bin that is a "closed bin" system is eligible.
    Native Plants: While Native Plant species are highly recommended and preferred, any NON-INVASIVE plant species will be reimbursed.

    Note: Franklin Soil and Water will not reimburse materials for "Do it Yourself" rain barrels or compost bins. We apologize for any inconvenience.

    Mosquito Alert!

    West Nile virus is increasingly becoming a concern in the Midwest, as an increasing number of illnesses and deaths are blamed on the virus. Mosquitoes tend to breed in wet areas, and the mosquito that carries and transmits West Nile virus is found where there is decaying organic matter and wet conditions. Recommendations to reduce populations of mosquitoes include source reduction of mosquito breeding sites and avoidance of biting mosquitoes. Recommendations for reducing breeding sites include eliminating or emptying artificial water collection containers described as prime breeding spots for the mosquito species implicated in the transmission of West Nile Virus. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as 7 to 10 days.
    • Empty barrels on a regular basis after and/or before a rainfall to control mosquito breeding cycles.
    • Use Mosquito larvicide tablets such as Mosquito Dunks ® inside barrels as needed to assure the control of breeding and development.
    • Clean all gutters and downspouts. Leaves, twigs, seeds, and other organic matter will create a water dam in which mosquito larvae can grow.
    • Perform regular inspections of your system to make sure that there are no cracks or leaks, and that all fittings and seals around the valves are intact.
    By taking these precautions, your properly protected rain barrels can actually help prevent unwanted mosquito breeding by eliminating the standing water which results from a heavy rainfall.

    Other questions can be answered by Franklin Soil and Water staff by calling or emailing us below: