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

Become a Master Rain Gardener

Protect your home against flooding & help bees, birds, & butterflies with a RAIN garden! Partners across southeast Michigan are pleased to announce details for the 2023 Master Rain Gardener course. Space is limited; register today!

Register Now

*Do you live in the following communities? You could qualify for FREE registration to the winter Master Rain Gardener course funded by the EPA-Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Grant: Protecting Lake Erie Marsh and Waters. 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)

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

Free Self-Paced


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
DATES: Five Thursdays, February 23, March 2, 9, 16, and 23
LOCATION: VIRTUAL, with an in-person outdoor tour
COST: $89 Early Bird Rate ($380 value; sliding scale scholarships available, minimum fee of $20)

$145 for applications received after Feb 9th
*see above if you may qualify for FREE registration!


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.


  • Thu Feb 23, 1-2:30pm (Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County area) visit to residential rain garden. Hear directly from the resident about their experience designing and building their rain garden
  • Thu March 9, 2-4pm (Plymouth, Wayne County area) Planting design exploration of 23 rain gardens at the Plymouth Arts and Recreation Complex, 650 Church St, Plymouth
  • Additional tour dates and locations TBD


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

Jaclyn Heikkila portrait

Jaclyn Heikkila

Friends of the Rouge

Restoration 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

Lisa Denys

Huron-Clinton Metroparks

Community Outreach Interpreter

Jason Frenzel

Huron River Watershed Council

Stewardship Coordinator


Beth Rowley

Alluring Landscape Design

Landscape Designer

Joel Kohn

Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner’s Office

Environmental Planner