friends@therouge.org | 734-927-4900 | Fax: 734-927-4920

Become a Master Rain Gardener

Do you live in the following communities? You could qualify for FREE registration to the 2024 winter Master Rain Gardener course funded by the GLRI. Please email Jill Martin to see if you qualify and to get the registration link!

Qualifying Zip Codes: Detroit (48209, 48217), Ecorse (48229), Inkster (48141), Lincoln Park (48146), Melvindale (48122), River Rouge (48218), Riverview (48193), Romulus (48174), Taylor (48180)

Register now for Early Bird pricing (through Jan 15)! Register by January 23rd to be enrolled for the winter course. Please email RainSmart@therouge.org with any questions.

Can’t wait? You can always take the free, self-paced version of the class instead!

Free Self-Paced

Protect your home against flooding & help birds, & butterflies with a RAIN garden! We teach you *everything* we know about rain gardens. That includes lessons learned from more than 1,400 rain gardens built by homeowners just like you! Learn what works and what doesn’t. Ask questions in our live class! Visit a real rain garden in person! Neighborhood virtual breakout rooms and Facebook (or an alternate forum) for discussion/homework. Earn your certification – including a t-shirt and sign – by building your own rain garden, or adopting a public rain garden. Partners across southeast Michigan are looking forward to having you for the 2024 Master Rain Gardener course.


Water Resources Washtenaw County MI logo

Partners from across southeast Michigan have come together to offer the largest ever Master Rain Gardener Training Course, with capacity for over one hundred students drawn from across all of southeast Michigan. Students will be paired with expert instructors from their region, enjoying both one-on-one support and the friendly support of a small peer group of no more then ten fellow students.


TIME: 10am – Noon (9-10am office hours)
DATES: Five Thursdays, January 25, February 1, 8, 15, 22
LOCATION: VIRTUAL, with an in-person outdoor tours (Tour dates and locations TBD)
COST: $145 $89 Early Bird Pricing now through Jan. 15! Sliding Scale Scholarship and Sustainer Level enrollment also available!


Can’t make the live class fit into your schedule? Take the free self-paced version of the course, or simply watch the video recordings online. If you build a rain garden on your own after watching the recordings, contact us about getting your certification.


Water Resources Washtenaw County MI logo
Alliance of Rouge Communities
Erb Family Foundation logo


The Master Rain Gardener Training Program began in Washtenaw County in 2010, developed by Susan Bryan, Harry Sheehan, and Shannan Gibb-Randall. Since that time, hundreds of gardeners have earned certification as a Master Rain Gardener and built beautiful rain gardens! Rain Gardens filter and cool stormwater so that our streams and rivers run clean. It is a nonpoint solution for nonpoint source pollution. During class, you will…

  • Design your own rain garden step-by-step
  • Receive friendly encouragement each step of the way from course instructors, past graduates, and fellow students
  • Become your neighborhood’s expert on rain gardens!


Participants must attend all five classes and plant (OR adopt) a rain garden to earn their Master Rain Gardener certificate, garden sign, and t-shirt.


I love this class! Every gardener should take it for background knowledge. The class is so well organized with visuals and field trips! Meeting more than my expectations.

2018 trainee

I like everything about this class: the way it is taught, field trips, individual help, resources. Matthew and Ian are so knowledgeable.

2018 trainee


Susan Bryan, MLA

Washtenaw County Water Resources

Rain Garden Coordinator


Ric Lawson

Huron River Watershed Council

Watershed Planner


Dr. Chris Bobryk

Clinton River Watershed Council

Watershed Planner

McKenzi Waliczek

Friends of the Detroit River

Stewardship Director


Meija Knafl

River Raisin Watershed Council

Outreach Coordinator

Rosina Newton

Friends of the Rouge

Restoration Assistant/ Volunteer Coordinator

Jacy Garrison

Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner’s Office

Environmental Planner


Jill Martin

Huron-Clinton Metroparks

Community Outreach Interpretive Services Supervisor

Anita Daley

Huron River Watershed Council

Marketing Executive

Jason Frenzel

Huron River Watershed Council

Stewardship Coordinator


Beth Rowley

Alluring Landscape Design

Landscape Designer