Green Spot

What is Community Backyards?

Community Backyards is an educational rebate program that was created to teach Franklin County, Ohio residents about how you can improve water quality beginning right in your own backyard. Residents can earn $50 for your yard by participating in the online course and quiz or attending an in-person workshop. After participation, you will receive a voucher with details on your eligible rebate items and how to redeem your rebate. Due to the amount of participation, vouchers are offered on a first-come, first-served basis and expire within 45 days. Vouchers and rebates are limited to one voucher/rebate per household per year to ensure we can reach as many households as possible! Funding for the program is limited, and the program might close early if rebate funding for your community runs out. 

Community Backyards participants will automatically be enrolled to be a City of Columbus GreenSpot after receiving their voucher. Why? By implementing one of the backyard conservation rebate practices, you're already working on going green anyway! Additionally, funding for the program is provided by the City of Columbus and our other participating communities. Without their support, funds would not be available for rebates. Visit GreenSpot to learn more about sustainability and how you can be more green. 

Who is eligible for a rebate? 

Residents who live in the following tax districts are eligible for a rebate. Do you know what your residence's primary tax district is? In Franklin County, your mailing address or school district is sometimes different from your tax district! Because of this, we verify every single participant's tax district via the Franklin County Auditor - which residents can do too! Please see the list of participating communities below. 

2023 Participating Communities


Franklin County non-participating municipalities: Whitehall, Marble Cliff, Minerva Park, Urbancrest. Not within a participating community listed above but still in Franklin County? You are eligible for a rebate on a rain barrel or a SWACO compost bin.

If you live outside of Franklin County, please contact your local county's Soil and Water Conservation District for available conservation assistance and programs. If you live in Delaware County, check out the Del-Aware Rebate Program

How do I participate in Community Backyards?

Participate via one of two ways: take the online course or attend a workshop. Pick one. 

Option 1: Take the Online Course and Quiz

  1. Fill out the online course page with your most up to date information including home address, phone number and an email address that you check regulary.
  2. Take the online course with a focus on residential use of rain barrels, rain gardens, composting, native plants and lawn care.
  3. After the course, take the short quiz on what you've learned and hit submit. When you pass the quiz, your information is sent to the team at Franklin Soil and Water.
  4. We manually verify your eligibility and send you a voucher with your eligible rebate items and instructions within approximately 2 weeks of taking the course. You will NOT receive your voucher immediately.
  5. If you have not received your voucher via email 3 weeks after taking the course, please check your spam, junk, and other email folders before reaching out to us. It often ends up in spam or junk folders. 
  6. Follow the instructions on your voucher for how to redeem your rebate & receive your reimbursement.

Closed for 2023
Online course reopens in May 2024 




Option 2: Attend a Local Workshop

  1. The Community Backyards workshops are FREE for anyone to attend, and offer information, interaction, and answers to your questions with staff or volunteers knowledgable about backyard conservation. 
  2. To attend, register in advance through the registration links below or call our office at (614) 486-9613. You may also just show up, but we cannot guarantee that a seat will be available. 
  3. You must attend the class for the entire duration of about an hour and a half. At the class, you will receive a voucher with your eligible rebate items and instructions on how to redeem your rebate if you registered in advance. If you did not register in advance, your voucher will be sent a few business days after the workshop.  
  4. Follow the instructions on your voucher for how to redeem your rebate & receive your reimbursement. 

Closed for 2023
Workshops return in April 2024

Questions? Check out our 
Resources page. If you still need assistance, please contact us via email or give us a call at (614) 486-9613.