Rain Garden & Water Quality Certification

Upcoming Workshops

There are no upcoming workshops at this time. If you have not done so already, we recommend joining the mailing list to receive email announcements when new workshops are scheduled.

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 – $100.00
Non-Certification Fee – $25.00

Registration fee includes refreshments, 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:

NCSU-BAE
Campus Box 7625
Raleigh, NC 27695
Attn: Brittany Santore


Course 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.

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.


Professional Development Hours

The following professional development hours (PDHs) are awarded after successful completion of the workshop:

  • 5L credit hours for landscape contractors (approved by the NC Landscape Contractors’ Licensing Board, course #660) for the workshop.
  • 4.5 contact hours for landscape architects (approved by the NC Board of Landscape Architects, course #12077) for the workshop.
  • Other professionals may appeal to their respective boards to obtain professional education credits.

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