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. Due to concerns around COVID-19, we will only be offering the course online this year. All participants will be required to review all course content and complete the 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 Late Summer Online Course Dates:


Due to the on-going Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, the in-person course will now be fully delivered online.


  • Class 1: Wednesday, September 2, 2020. 12:00pm-1:00pm
  • Class 2: Wednesday, September 9, 2020. 12:00pm-1:00pm
  • Class 3: Wednesday, September 16, 2020. 12:00pm-1:00pm
  • Class 4: Wednesday, September 23, 2020. 12:00pm-1:00pm
  • Class 5: Wednesday, September 30, 2020. 12:00pm-1:00pm


Cost: $50 for Residential Certification (scholarships available)


Register for the Residential Certification Course here:


Cost: $75 for Professional Certification


Register for the Professional Certification Course here:



Questions? 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 Wisniewski at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 440-975-3870 ext. 1005.


Registration Closed*

*Programs are filled on a first come, first served basis, register early to reserve a spot. Fees must be paid in full upon registration. Program feed are non-refundable and non-transferable to another date/program unless CRWP finds it necessary to cancel a program.