Train to be a Master Rain Gardener!Learn to design and install your own rain garden and be the rain garden expert in your neighborhood. Master Rain Gardeners help friends and neighbors to learn about, design, and plant rain gardens.
What is a rain garden? 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 United States. 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.
REGISTRATION OPEN FOR 2023 MASTER RAIN GARDENER COURSESCuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District (Cuyahoga SWCD), Chagrin River Watershed Partners (CRWP), and Lake County Soil & Water Conservation District (Lake SWCD) are offering five Master Rain Gardener courses in 2023. Each course consists of 5 classes held over a 6-week period. Participants will learn how to design, install, and maintain residential rain gardens. Rain gardens are saucer-shaped gardens filled with native, wet-tolerant plants that are designed to collect, filter, and soak up stormwater runoff from roofs, driveways, and lawns that would otherwise flow into storm drains and streams untreated. Rain gardens can help improve localized flooding issues and increase wildlife habitat. When replicated across the region, they can make a significant impact in protecting the water quality of our local streams and Lake Erie.
- WINTER ONLINE COURSE: January 30 through March 10, 2023. Recorded online content is provided each week with open office hour check-ins once a week over Zoom. Professional certification track offered.
Residential Track: $50* Professional Track: $75
- SPRING IN-PERSON COURSE:Wednesdays, 10am – 1pm starting March 1st through April 5th, 2023, at the South Euclid Community Center in South Euclid, OH.
Residential Track (only): $75*
- SELF-PACED ONLINE COURSE:For those that need flexibility, a recorded self-paced option is available with feedback provided virtually at your own pace. Available year-round.
Residential Track (only): $50*
- Two additional courses coming in 2023: Summer in-person and Fall online, dates and information TBD.
*Income-based scholarships are available. We are committed to creating a more diverse and inclusive program that is accessible to all Northeast Ohio residents. Based on need, courses can be offered for as low as $10 for online, and $20 for in-person. Contact course instructors for more information.The in-person courses will include optional field trips to residential rain gardens, public rain gardens, and native plant nurseries. Master Rain Gardeners earn their certification by taking the class and building a rain garden or adopting a public rain garden. Experienced instructors will provide customized feedback which will enable participants to design and install a rain garden of their own and become the neighborhood rain garden expert. Course topics will include site assessment, soil analysis, design, construction, plant selection, mulching, and maintenance. Graduates of the course will receive a certificate, Master Rain Gardener T-shirt, and a yard sign.
Select courses also offer a Professional Rain Gardener Certification which is geared toward landscape professionals and contractors looking to install rain gardens professionally on residential properties.
Please call 330-926-2452 for more information and to answer questions that you may have.
Since its inception in 2019, the Northeast Ohio Master Rain Gardener Program has been improving wildlife habitat and water quality in the Lake Erie watersheds one rain garden at a time. The program has trained over 560 residents and professionals and enabled the installation of over 130 rain gardens, capturing over 1.77 million gallons of polluted stormwater runoff each year. Master Rain Gardener volunteers have donated over 1390 hours toward building and maintaining public rain gardens throughout Northeast Ohio.