COVID-19 Update

HIP staff are dedicated to supporting your efforts to protect Lake Whatcom. At this time, we will assist homeowners remotely and with property site visits when necessary in ways that are protective of the health of our community. For more information about the steps we are taking to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community, click here

 

IMPROVE YOUR PROPERTY
PROTECT LAKE WHATCOM

Get Reimbursed

INTRODUCING HIP

The Homeowner Incentive Program


The HIP connects landowners living in the Lake Whatcom watershed with the technical and financial assistance they need to take action to improve water quality in the lake. With support from professional experts, HIP participants are encouraged to complete voluntary projects that both protect Lake Whatcom and accentuate the unique character of each property.

The HIP was designed with Lake Whatcom watershed residents in mind, focusing on projects that protect water quality and preserve what they love about living around the lake.

OUR 5-STEP PROCESS:

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS


1

Enter your street address

Learn what type of HIP projects are possible on your property and how to get started.

2

Learn more

Staff is here to help answer your questions and help you understand how HIP works. Depending on the location of your property, you will start by learning more from online resources, workshops, or an individual consultation with staff.

3

Choose your property-improvements

HIP projects include beautiful native plantings, rain gardens, drainage upgrades, and more. Staff will help you find the options that work for your property and assist with the application process.

4

Complete your project

Staff will help connect you to professionals who can help and provide directions on how to do-it-yourself.

5

Get reimbursed!

Receive a rebate of up to $1.30 per square foot improved for eligible expenses. Your property could qualify for thousands of dollars, or more.

LET'S GET STARTED

“After installing our HIP project, our yard was brought to life. HIP helped us improve our yard and take an active role in protecting Lake Whatcom.”

—Tony and Sherae Quattrocchi, 2020 HIP participants

Learn more about the Quattrocchi’s HIP native landscaping project:

 

THE HOMEOWNER INCENTIVE PROGRAM IS

MAKING A REAL IMPACT


180+

180+ voluntary projects completed and reimbursed since 2011

28

28 lbs of phosphorus/year prevented from entering Lake Whatcom

$850K

Over $850k reimbursed since 2011 to Lake Whatcom HIP homeowners

THE HOMEOWNER INCENTIVE PROGRAM IS

VOLUNTARY PROGRAM


Lake Whatcom is in trouble. You can be part of the solution!

Long-term studies have shown a decline in water quality within Lake Whatcom. Dissolved oxygen – a vital component of a healthy lake – has declined to historically-low levels, while the amount of algae throughout the lake has continued to increase. Solving this complex problem takes a coordinated, cooperative effort from many stakeholders, including homeowner stewards like you.

The City and County have implemented a capital retrofit program to manage runoff from some of the developed area around the lake. However, much of the developed land lies outside of the reach of public infrastructure projects and end-of-pipe treatment systems are less efficient and often prohibitively expensive.

This is where you can help!

Through HIP, private property owners can improve water quality by making voluntary landscaping improvements on their property.

ARE YOU A PROFESSIONAL?

GET HIP-CERTIFIED!


Grow your business by getting certified and receiving customer referrals from HIP! To become a HIP-Certified Professional, please attend a free, half-day workshop that provides an overview of HIP, project types, the permitting process, project reimbursement, and more.

After attending, you’ll need to take and pass our test, covering key HIP concepts and processes, to become HIP-approved. Demonstrating your understanding enables you to market yourself as a HIP-approved professional and have your name included on the designer/contractor list available to Lake Whatcom watershed property owners. Rosters of HIP-approved Professionals will also be posted to the HIP website.