When: July 17 through August 14 from 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Learn to design, dig and plant your own rain garden!!

Share your knowledge and become your community's expert on rain gardens. At the end of this 5-session course, you will become a Master Rain Gardener! Rain gardens capture and soak in rainwater that runs off hard surfaces like roofs and driveways while filtering pollutants that would otherwise flow to our storm drains and into our creeks and streams.

Hosted by Cuyahoga SWCD, Lake SWCD, Chagrin River Watershed Partners, Mayfield Village, and Cleveland Metroparks.

Instructors: Elizabeth Hiser and Amy Roskilly - Cuyahoga SWCD, Natalie Gertz-Young - Lake SWCD, Laura Bonnell, Chagrin River Watershed Partners.

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 can be taken online and is offered as 5 weekly modules, allowing for more flexibility for those who are unable to attend the in-person classes. All participants will be required to complete five weeks of online course content and hands-on assignments and weekly quizzes.

Friday lunchtimes 12:00-1:30, July 17th-August 14th, 2020. Class will be recorded, so you can view it later that week.

*Course will also include optional field trips and field work days.

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 5-week course and install their own rain garden or adopt a public rain garden. Participants will receive a certificate and Master Rain Gardener T-shirt upon course completion.

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 5-week course, pass an exam, and attend a field day at which participants will install a public rain garden from start to finish. 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.


  • $50 - Residential
  • $75 - Professional
  • *Scholarships available - Email ehiser@cuyahogaswcd.org to discuss

We’d like to recognize Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner's Office for providing resources to host this program.

  • Programs are filled on a first come, first served basis, register early to get a spot.
  • Fees must be paid in full upon registration.
  • Program fees are non-refundable and non-transferable to another date/program unless Cuyahoga SWCD finds it necessary to cancel a program.
  • Your payment confirms you are registered for the program.
  • Completed registrations will receive a confirmation email.

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