Rain Garden Certification

Upcoming FREE Workshop

April 20, 2024
9:00 am -12:00 pm

The HUB Farm 
117 Milton Rd
Durham, NC 27712

Please note that our partners at the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association will be managing the registration for this workshop. 

Join the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association and the NC Cooperative Extension in a workshop on rain gardens, a type of stormwater control measure (SCM). This workshop will be led by the Extension’s Watershed Agent, Mitchell Woodward, and it will take place at the Durham Public Schools Hub Farm. Due to the location change, the workshop will now focus on best practices for rain garden placement and rain garden maintenance, rather than building a rain garden.

In this training, you will learn:

  • what stormwater is and why it should be managed
  • what a rain garden is, its purpose, and its water quality benefits
  • watershed stability, site selection, and size calculation for rain gardens
  • plant selection, plant arrangement & places to obtain native species
  • how to maintain a rain garden

What to wear/bring:

  • hat
  • sunglasses
  • closed-toed shoes
  • long sleeves and pants
  • bug spray and sunscreen
  • water and snacks

List of Certified Professionals

List of Certified Residential Rain Garden Professionals 

Each workshop is unique. The information below is provided for general information about the workshop. Please reference the registration website for specific information about the individual workshop.

About the Workshop

The need for qualified stormwater SCM installers is growing. As homeowners and property managers become more aware of the rules and regulations related to built-upon area (BUA) stormwater management and their related obligations and rights regarding the transfer of property. Many are choosing to manage the runoff and reduce BUA with rain gardens and other stormwater BMPs. Rain gardens, one of the most common installations, 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-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 an exam and become certified in rain garden design and installation.

This workshop, led by experienced installers from NC State University – Cooperative Extension, will familiarize participants with the installation and maintenance of different kinds of stormwater BMPs and to certify qualification to properly design and install many of the practices. This workshop takes place rain or shine.

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 and other BMPs.
  • 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.

Who Should Attend

This workshop is tailored to professionals that design, install or maintain rain gardens and other stormwater Best Management Practices and following groups of individuals:

  • Commercial and Residential Landscapers
  • Landscape Architects
  • Design Engineers
  • Homeowners
  • Homeowner Association Members
  • Property Managers and Owners
  • Teachers and Educators
  • Students
  • Master Gardeners
  • Town and City Stormwater Managers
  • Those Interested in Learning About Rain Gardens and Their Benefits

Registration Fee Information

Certification Fee – $200.00
Non-Certification Fee – $25.00

Registration fee includes lunch and the NC State University Rain Garden Manual

Payment Instructions

We accept Visa, Mastercard, and American Express for payment of your registration fee. Or you may send us a check made payable to NCSU – BAE. Mail to:

Campus Box 7625
Raleigh, NC 27695
Attn: Workshop Coordinators

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Cancellation requests should be sent to bae_training@ncsu.edu for processing. The cancellation request must be submitted at least thirty-one (31) days before the date of the workshop to receive a full refund. Cancellation requests made between thirty (30) days and eight (8) days before the date of the workshop will receive a full refund minus a $25 administrative processing fee. Any cancellation requests made on or within seven (7) days of the workshop will be ineligible for a refund.

Attendee substitutions from within the same company may be made at any time at no cost. Please send an email to bae_training@ncsu.edu with the name of the current registrant and the name and email address of the new registrant.

Severe Weather Cancellation and Refund Policy

In the event of severe weather, this workshop may be postponed or canceled at the discretion of the workshop instructors and coordinators. If the workshop is postponed, you may receive a refund if you are unable to attend the newly scheduled date, time, and location. Please contact bae_training@ncsu.edu if you are unable to attend the rescheduled workshop. If the workshop is canceled, you will receive a full refund. If the workshop is postponed or canceled, the workshop instructors and coordination staff are not responsible for participants not meeting their PDHs or CEUs requirements with their various professional licensing boards.

Workshop Schedule

This is a sample schedule of the workshop to demonstrate the topics that will be covered. Actual schedules, including start and end times, may vary from class to class. Please refer to the workshop registration page and your confirmation email for times.

What to Bring

Participants will be installing a rain garden and should dress accordingly. This workshop takes place RAIN or SHINE. Recommended items include:

  • Closed-toe shoes
  • Long pants
  • Rain gear
  • Hat
  • Gloves
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Spray

Certification Information

  • 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.

All participants who pass an examination at the end of the course will be certified by NC State Cooperative Extension.

List of Certified Professionals

List of Certified Residential Rain Garden Professionals 

Our Instructors

This workshop is led by experienced rain garden installers. Current instructors are faculty from NC State University’s Department of Biological & Agricultural Engineering and faculty from NC Cooperative Extension Services.


Rain Garden Manual

Rain Garden 101 PowerPoint Presentation

Rain Garden Plant Selection PowerPoint Presentation

Chatham County Cooperative Extension Rain Gardens Website

Native Plant Resources Website

North Carolina Cooperative Extension’s Gardener Plant Toolbox Database

The North Carolina Extension Gardener Handbook Website

“Rainwater Harvesting: Guidance for Homeowners” Article

Soil Testing for Lawns and Gardens