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 rainwater 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 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. We will also offer the option for participants to join weekly live online Q&A sessions. 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, 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 either install at least one residential rain garden or attend a field day at which participants will install a public rain garden from start to finish. Upon course completion, participants will be awarded a Professional Rain Gardener Certification, which can be used to promote your expertise and as a selling point for your business. Clink on the link below for a list of professionals who completed the Northeast Ohio Professional Rain Gardener course. Inclusion on this list does not constitute an endorsement. Certified Professional Rain Gardeners in Northeast Ohio

For more information or to register, please visit the Northeast Ohio Master Rain Gardener website:

Questions? Contact Laura Bonnell at or 440-975-3870 ext. 1002, or Kaylee Acres at or 440-975-3870 ext. 1009.

*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 fees are non-refundable and non-transferable to another date/program unless CRWP finds it necessary to cancel a program.

Program Coordinators: Chagrin River Watershed Partners, Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District, and Lake County Soil & Water Conservation District

Program Implementers: Chagrin River Watershed Partners, Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District, Lake County Soil & Water Conservation District, and Summit Soil & Water Conservation District

Program Partners: Lake Metroparks, Cleveland Metroparks, and NEOPIPE

2022 Program Funders: Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Lake County Stormwater Management Department, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Section 319 Program, Western Reserve Land Conservancy Dominion Watershed Mini-Grant Program, and the George Gund Foundation

Program Creator: Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner's Office