Photo of rain garden

RG 201 - Residential Rain Garden Certification for Professionals

NOTE: This workshop is tailored specifically to professionals that design, install or maintain rain gardens. It involves an exam on Day 2 of the workshop, and certification if you pass. If you do NOT wish to become certified, you can attend Day 1 only, and pay a reduced registration fee of $25.


February 24-25, 2014
New Hanover County Executive Development Center
Long Leaf Room
1241 Military Cutoff Road
Wilmington, NC 28405
Registration Closed.

Hotel Suggestion: Hilton Garden Inn, Mayfaire Town Center, Phone: (910) 509-4046


May 7-8, 2014
Lake Mackintosh Marina, Lakeside Rental Clubhouse
2704 Huffman Mill Road
Burlington, North Carolina
Registration Closed.


April 23-24, 2015 ***
Museum of Life and Science
433 W. Murray Avenue
Durham, NC 27704

***The April 2015 class has an additional 1/2 day session: Innovative Water Harvesting and Downspout Disconnection Demonstration. More information is available at:
Click here to REGISTER ONLINE for April 23-24.

About the workshop:

As homeowners and property managers become more aware of the issues of stormwater management, many of them are choosing to manage the runoff from their homes and businesses with rain gardens. Rain gardens are shallow depressions and serve as landscape features that can effectively collect and treat stormwater and reduce localized flooding. Rain gardens can be integrated into the existing landscape as a retrofit or be included in the initial landscaping plan. To effectively manage stormwater, rain gardens must be accurately sized and properly constructed. This 1.5 day workshop will present a method for sizing and designing rain gardens and will detail proper construction techniques. Participants will have the opportunity to take a test and become certified in rain garden design and installation.

Note: The design method presented in this workshop is not accepted by NCDENR as a means of sizing rain gardens for regulatory purposes. However, this method is suitable for retrofit or non-regulatory rain garden design and installations.

Workshop participants will be installing a rain garden. Participants should dress accordingly for the weather (this will take place RAIN or SHINE). Close-toed shoes are highly recommended. Bring sunblock/hats/gloves if preferred. Bottled water will be provided.

As a result of this training you will:

  • Understand why stormwater needs to be managed,
  • Understand the importance of properly-designed practices,
  • Understand the principles of rain garden location, construction and maintenance,
  • Learn how to properly design and size rain gardens
  • Be able to select appropriate vegetation,
  • Design, build and plant a small rain garden,
  • Be eligible to take a test at the conclusion of the training to be certified in rain garden design and installation.

Click here to view the AGENDA!


  • This certification is awarded by NC State University Cooperative Extension and is housed in the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department.
  • To receive the certification, attendees must attend the workshop and then receive a score of at least 80% on an examination.

Please click here for a list of Certified Residential Rain Garden Professionals from 2009 - 2010.
Please click here for a list of Certified Residential Rain Garden Professionals for 2011 - 2015.

Continuing Education Credits:
8 contact hours for Landscape Architects (Course # 6379)

This workshop is sponsored by: NC State University Department of Biological & Agricultural Engineering, NC Cooperative Extension, and co-sponsored by Methodist University Environmental & Occupational Management Program.

Photo of rain garden

Who Should Attend

  • Commercial and residential landscapers
  • Landscape architects
  • Design engineers

Workshop Fee

Early Bird Fee: $125

Regular Registration Fee: $175

Non-certification Rate: $25 (attendees who are not interested in becoming certified should only attend Day 1 of the workshop. These attendees will not receive the full materials but will be provided with a copy of the Backyard Rain Garden Manual courtesy of NC Cooperative Extension.)

Early bird fee applies if registering at least 1 week in advance of the workshop date. Within 1 week, regular fees apply.
Fees include break service, lunch and workshop materials.

Cancellation Policy: If cancelling a "full" registration (pursuing certification), a refund minus a $25 administrative fee will be given. The administrative fee levied on the 'non-certification' option is $10.

Make your check payable to NCSU-BAE. (Mastercard, Visa, and American Express are also accepted.)
Mail your check and copy of your registration form to:
Campus Box 7625
Raleigh, NC 27695
Attn: Christina Shepard


  • Faculty of NCSU Department of Biological & Agricultural Engineering
  • Faculty of NC Cooperative Extension Service


Day 1
8:00am Registration

Stormwater Overview


Rain Garden Overview

  Site Selection




  Wetland Gardens

In Class Exercise

  Plant Selection

Constructing a Rain Garden


Alternate Design Options


Maintenance and FAQ

  Rain Garden Installation
5:00pm Adjourn
Day 2
9:00am Summary/Review and Q & A
  In-Class Exam
  Outside Exam
12:30 - 1pm Adjourn

For questions about registration contact us at: