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Pavement Removal

Replacing pavement with turf, native plants, or native trees can help prevent stormwater runoff and pollutants from entering our streams. This water that runs off can carry pollutants such as dirt, lawn care fertilizer and chemicals, pet waste and trash into our streams.

Depending on how your yard is graded, the water flowing from these paved areas may be leaving your property and entering the stormdrain system or causing drainage concerns for a neighbor. By reducing the amount of rainwater leaving your property, you can help improve local streams by reducing stream channel erosion and water pollution.

Reducing paved surfaces also supports sustainable living, and adds attractive landscaping to the area.

Before and after image of pavement removal.


Why Should I Remove Pavement from My Property?

Replacing pavement with natural vegetation offers many benefits to the community and the local environment, which include:

  • Improved aesthetics with more green space

  • Improved air quality

  • Improved water quality

  • Enhanced wildlife habitat

  • Native species conservation

  • Reduced stormwater runoff

  • Reduced erosion

Pavement removal is a great way to help the environment, restore the natural water cycle, and protect your local streams and the Chesapeake Bay.

The RainScapes Rewards Rebate program offers a rebate payment for converting a minimum of 100 square feet on property used for residential purposes and a minimum of 300 square feet for a commercial, institutional, or multi-family property. Your rebate amount will be calculated per square foot of pavement converted to turf. If the pavement is replaced with native plant species, your rebate will be calculated at a higher dollar amount per square foot.



Is Removing Pavement Right for Me?

Your property may have more paved surfaces than you need or even want to maintain. Are there patios, driveways, or walkways that could be replaced by vegetation? Did a previous owner pave extra parking space that you do not use? Consider removing pavement and replacing with vegetation.

Image of the front of the RainScapes Pavement Removal Guide
Need Help with Assessing Your Property for Pavement Removal?  
Download the Guide (PDF, 475KB)


How to Assess Your Property

Follow these basic steps to assess your property for removing pavement.

  1. Locate your property’s hard surfaces.The next time it rains, go and look at where the rainwater goes after it lands on the surfaces. Look for opportunities to better manage the water runoff. Consider narrowing your walkways, making your patio smaller, or reducing your driveway to two paved tire tracks with gravel or vegetation in the middle to let the rain soak into the ground.

  2. Measure the hard surface area you wish to convert to natural vegetation. Determine if there is adequate space to meet the minimum eligible project size. To receive a RainScapes Rewards Rebate, the minimum project size is 100 square feet for residential properties and 300 square feet for commercial, institutional, and multi-family properties.

  3. Before removing any pavement, decide what type of landscape project you would like to use to replace the pavement. Options for driveways include a grassy strip, short native plants. For pavement removal areas that are not driveways, trees or conservation landscapes are recommended.


Removing Your Pavement

Pavement removal is a labor-intensive job, but it can be a do-it-yourself project with the right equipment.  The RainScapes Permeble Pavement Guide (below) has useful information and advice for a successful project. 

Things you want to consider before you begin removing your pavement:

  • How much pavement do you want to remove?

  • Will you hire a contractor to assist with the project?

  • What will you replace the pavement with? Do you have a planting plan or experience with native plants?

  • Where will the equipment come from?

The RainScapes program has knowledgeable and helpful staff who can help you through the process as well as the RainScapes Rewards Rebates program with great financial incentives for removing pavement.  


Download the RainScapes Pavement Removal Guide (PDF, 475KB)


Maintenance After Removal

After you remove pavement from your property and replace it with native plants, the new landscaping should be maintained on a regular basis. Perform regular gardening tasks such as weeding, watering, mowing edges, mulching and pruning.  The edges of two track driveways should be checked at least twice a year to ensure that your tires are not eroding the planting areas. For more maintenance suggestions, download the Pavement Removal Guide.


Rebates, Resources and Financial Incentives

Interested in removing pavement?  The County offers incentives to help make the decision a little easier.


Logo of the RainScapes programThe RainScapes Rewards Rebates Program

The County offers technical and financial assistance (in the form of rebates) to encourage property owners to implement RainScapes techniques on their property, including pavement removal.

  • Residential properties are eligible for up to a $2,500 rebate

  • Commercial, multi-family or institutional properties are eligible for up to a $10,000 rebates.

To receive a rebate for pavement removal for residential properties, you must convert a minimum of 100 square feet of pavement. To receive rebates for commercial, multi-family, and institutional properties, a minimum of 300 square feet of pavement must be converted.

To participate in the RainScapes program, your property must be located in Montgomery County, outside of the municipal limits of the City of Rockville, City of Takoma Park, or City of Gaithersburg. Projects are not eligible if they are associated with permit approval requirements for new building construction, additions, or renovations.

‚ÄčThe program is funded each fiscal year (The FY begins July 1 and ends June 30). Annual funds for the programs are limited, so rebates will be awarded on a first-come-first-served basis.

The RainScapes program also provides technical assistance to help pavement removal. They have a wealth of information, expertise and want to help!

Learn more on the RainScapes Rewards Rebates webpage.