Master RAIN Gardener 
5-Week Course
Rain gardens work with nature to collect and filter rainwater that runs off impervious surfaces like rooftops and driveways. Impervious surfaces lead to increases in surface runoff and often result in increased flooding and stream bank erosion.  As water travels over impervious surfaces it also has the potential to pick up pollutants.  Polluted stormwater runoff enters our rivers and lakes and is one of the leading threats to water quality in the U.S.
This Master Rain Gardener Program will teach you how to manage rain water in your own yard. Rain gardens naturally manage stormwater by infiltrating precipitation and allowing it to soak into the ground rather than sending it directly to storm sewers and nearby streams untreated. Experienced instructors will provide customized feedback which will enable you to design and install a rain garden. Topics will include site assessment, soil analysis, design, construction, plant selection, mulching, and maintenance.
This 5-week course is open to residents of Northeast Ohio and can be taken in-person or online.  The in-person course will be held at the Holden Arboretum located at 9550 Sperry Rd, Kirtland, OH 44094. The online course consists of recorded webinars that can be watched at your convenience within the course timeline, allowing for more flexibility for those who are unable to attend the in-person classes. Both the online and in-person course will include optional field trips. All participants will be required to complete all online or in-person course content and hands-on assignments and weekly quizzes. Graduates of the course will receive a certificate, Master Rain Gardener T-shirt, and a yard sign upon course completion. * 
The Residential Certification is geared toward homeowners who would like to install a rain garden in their own yard and serve as the neighborhood expert on rain gardens. This is a great educational extension program for Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists as well. To earn this certification, participants must complete the online or in-person 5-week course and install their own rain garden or adopt a public rain garden.
The Professional Certification is geared toward landscape professionals and contractors looking to install rain gardens professionally on residential properties. To earn this certification, participants are required to complete the online or in-person 5-week course, pass an exam, and attend a field day at which participants will install a public rain garden from start to finish, and professionally install at least one residential rain garden for a client. Upon course completion, you will be awarded a Master Rain Gardener Professional Certification, which can be used to promote your expertise and as a selling point for your business.  Click on the below link for a list of professionals who completed the Northeast Ohio Master Rain Gardener certification course for professionals. Inclusion on this list does not constitute an endorsement by Chagrin River Watershed Partners.  Certified Professional Master Rain Gardeners in Northeast Ohio
Partners include Chagrin River Watershed Partners, Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District, Lake County Soil & Water Conservation District, and Holden Forests and Gardens. Financial support for the program has been provided by Lake County Stormwater Management Department, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, and the Western Reserve Land Conservancy Dominion Energy Ohio Watershed Mini Grant Program. We’d also like to recognize Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner's Office for providing resources and advising on this program’s development.


*After the certification is earned, participants can either pick up graduation items at the offices of Chagrin River Watershed Partners in Downtown Willoughby or have them mailed at an additional cost (standard shipping rates + a $20 processing fee).

2020 Online Course Dates:


Your health and safety is of utmost importance to Chagrin River Watershed Partners and therefore, due to on-going Coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns, we have decided to cancel the final In-person class on Saturday, March 21, 2020 as well as the Professional Field Day on Saturday, May 2, 2020. We are working to reschedule the professional field day. We understand that this change may lead to scheduling conflicts and will work with each of you in order to ensure everyone is able meet the requirements to become a certified Professional Master Rain Gardener. Thank you for your understanding and feel free to reach out with any questions.


  • Monday, February 3 – Friday, March 20, 2020
  • Final In-Person Class: Saturday, March 21. 10:00am-1:00pm held at the Lakefront Lodge, 30525 Lake Shore Blvd., Willowick. (optional but encouraged) CANCELLED
  • Field Day: Saturday, May 2 (required for professional certification only) CANCELLED


Cost: $50 for Residential Certification (scholarships available)

Registration Closed


Cost: $75 for Professional Certification

Registration Closed


2020 In-person Course Dates:

CRWP will continue to monitor the on-going Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and will keep registrants updated on the status of this in-person course. If necessary, we have the capability to offer this in-person course via online methods.


  • Class 1: Thursday, July 30, 2020. 10:00am-2:00pm
  • Class 2: Thursday, August 6, 2020. 10:00am-2:00pm* 
  • Class 3: Thursday, August 13, 2020. 10:00am-2:00pm* 
  • Class 4: Thursday, August 20, 2020. 10:00am-2:00pm* 
  • Class 5: Thursday, August 27, 2020. 10:00am-2:00pm* 
  • Field Day: Saturday, September 12 (required for professional certification only)

*Individual Pre-Class Feedback available starting at 9:30am


Location: Holden Arboretum 9550 Sperry Rd, Kirtland, OH 44094  (Refreshments will be provided.)


Cost: $75 for Residential Certification (scholarships available)

Register for the Residential Certification Course here:


Cost: $100 for Professional Certification

Register for the Professional Certification Course here:


Contact Laura Bonnell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 440-975-3870 ext. 1002 or Madison Wisnewski at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 440-975-3870 ext. 1005.


Registration Open Now*

*Registration open until filled. Space is limited for each class (whether in-person or online) to 30 registrants.