Master Rain Gardener

Master Rain Gardener is a certification program focused on rain garden and rainwater harvesting system design and installation. The Master Rain Gardener (MRG) program will provide design standards and the knowledge-based skill set necessary to install rain gardens and rainwater harvesting systems on a residential scale. Rain gardens and rainwater harvesting offer residents and landscape professionals with a management tool for flooding on property, erosion prevention, incorporation of native plants and backyard habitat into the lawn, and the establishment of a low-irrigation landscape. The Master Rain Gardener program is a hybrid, multi-week curriculum allowing for self-paced online learning modules, hands-on field experience, and a  two-track option to meet the needs of diverse audiences. 

Online course content will include:

  • Rain garden site assessment, soil analysis, design standards, construction, plant selection, design elements, maintenance, and more.

  • Rainwater harvesting system sizing, pre-filtration devices, component considerations, water use and safety measures.

Both course tracks include hands-on components that provide participants with the opportunity to apply practices learned. 

The  Certification Track is intended for contractors, landscape designers, landscape installers and other professionals who will install residential-scale rain gardens and rainwater harvesting systems for pay. In order to achieve certification, individuals must complete four weeks of Master Rain Gardener online course content, attend a full-day, in-person training and pass the course exam. Recognition as a certified Master Rain Gardener can serve as a marketing tool for professionals. The Certification track is open to residential audiences who wish to participate in the field day.

The  Letter of Completion Track is intended for home gardeners, Master Gardeners, Master Naturalist, and other residential audiences. Attendance in the field day is not included in this track. In order to receive a Letter of Completion, individuals must complete four weeks of Master Rain Gardener online course content, complete hands-on class assignments and weekly quizzes.

This class is applicable towards 18 CEUs for ASLA members, 10 continuing education credits for SC Master Gardeners, 1 (Core) hour of SC Pesticide Applicator credit & 20 hours of renewal credit for educators through the SC Department of Education.

Email Kim Morganello with Master Rain Gardener questions at

Rain Garden for Professionals

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Registration for the 2022 offering of Master Rain Gardener is now closed. Please contact Kim Morganello at to be notified when registration is open for the 2023 offering.

Kim Morganello
Water Resources Associate
Clemson Extension

Instructor Team
Guinn Wallover
Cal Sawyer, Ph.D.
Dan Hitchcock, Ph.D., P.E.
Chuck Jarman, P.E.
Amy Scaroni, Ph.D.
Amy Dabbs
Laura Lee Rose
Mary Martinich, PLA
Marty Morganello

Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System - Education Provider