Offering the MRG Class In Your Community

Offering the Master Rain Gardener class in your community gets rain gardens built. Communities across the Great Lakes are implementing this effective program. We started this program - and are teaching other communities how to start their own. Would you like to build supporters, advocates, ambassadors, and volunteers - and rain gardens - in your community? Contact us.

Master Rain Gardener Programs in the Great Lakes region

Map of MRG programs

In order to offer the Master Rain Gardener class in your community, you need to:

  • Attend a train the trainer workshop, offered by Washtenaw County
  • Have the staff involved take the Master Rain Gardener class themselves, and build a rain garden
  • Sign a MOU with Washtenaw County saying you will use the program for good, not evil 🙂
  • Agree to attend a yearly collaboration workshop with the other entities that offer this class, to learn best practices and contribute lessons learned.

  1. Benefits
  2. Results
  3. Lessons Learned
  4. Instructor's Handbook

Need stormwater retrofits? Washtenaw County Water Resources runs a training program for residents that yields 97 rain gardens built a year.  The training is known as the Master Rain Gardener Certification class.  Such a training program fulfills stormwater permit requirements for pollution reduction, public education, and post-construction runoff control.   

RG built as of 2020

This program not only gets rain gardens built. It trains ambassadors out in the community. These trained Master Rain Gardeners become advocates and champions for green infrastructure. They write magazine articles, host tours, and promote rain gardens in their local communities.  They show up at public meetings supporting green infrastructure projects. They give talks on rain gardens at their local libraries. They write letters to elected officials supporting the stormwater budget. They promote rain gardens on social media – at all hours of the day when you are not working.

Master Rain Gardener Ambassador John Zarzecki

The Master Rain Gardener class is cost-effective and appropriate for all kinds of communities - rural or urban.  People love to be the one "in the know", and to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.  Learn how to implement your own program. 

Perhaps you have already offered a “rain garden how-to” workshop. Did anyone build a rain garden as a result of that workshop? What were the missing elements? We have figured it out, and don't mind sharing our lessons learned.

Volunteering at a Miller Avenue Rain Garden workday 2016 Dorothy Yenni

Have you ever wondered. . .how do you develop a committed, energetic volunteer corps that goes home and gets out a shovel?  How to inspire people to advocate for stormwater initiatives in the community? To maintain a rain garden beautifully?  How do you convince someone to advise their neighbor over the back fence to put in a rain garden?  To post in social media rain gardens as a solution when a neighbor asks?  The Master Rain Gardener program is one way to do all of these. 

Spoiler alert - it is the basic golden rule your mom taught you. Treat resident rain gardeners as true collaborators and leaders. 

Hope to work with you soon!

~Susan Bryan

Training Cleveland Ohio to offer the Master Rain Gardener Class

MRG Video Play

One of the communities who asked Susan Bryan to train them to offer a Master Rain Gardener class of their own - is the Cleveland Ohio metropolitan area. Click on the video to hear about that collaboration. Susan Bryan, WCWRC & Elizabeth Hiser of the Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District explain their experiences.

To talk about collaborating on offering the Master Rain Gardener class in your community, contact Susan Bryan.