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Master Rain Gardener Volunteer Program

Train as a Master Rain Gardener, and become a volunteer resource for your neighborhood.

Roger Moon sharing his complete rain gardenWashtenaw County  has been planting rain gardens since 2005, and in that time we have learned a thing or two about what makes them successful.  Come train with us to be a Master *Rain* Gardener.  During class you will design your own rain garden step-by-step. Share your knowledge in the tradition of the Master Gardener volunteer program.  Become your neighborhood's expert on rain gardens!

Rain Gardens filter and cool storm water so that our streams and rivers run clean.  It is a nonpoint solution for nonpoint source pollution.  Anyone can plant one in their own back yard.  Visit the Master Rain Gardener Hall of Fame (photos).

Master Rain Gardener Certification Class

“Excellent class, well-managed & very informative.”

“With the class, I feel confident.  But I would not have tackled this project without taking the class.”

“I find myself driving/walking and looking for houses that need rain gardens!”

 "I get so much happiness looking at my rain gardens! Now instead of watching water flood my yard, I am watering my plants. So cool!"

“Great class!!”

- Student Feedback 

Tuesday mornings 9:30am-12:30, February 28 – March 28, 2017. 

Location:  705 N. Zeeb, Ann Arbor, MI. MSU Extension Classroom  

Cost:  $89  (Scholarships available)

Instructors:  Susan Bryan, MLA &  Harry Sheehan of the Water Resources Commissioner's Office, Shannan Gibb-Randall, RLA of InSite Design Studio.

Participants must attend all five classes, dig and plant a rain garden to receive their Master Rain Gardener certificate.  

Questions?  or 734-730-9025

Register: To register for the class, use the Rec & Ed registration page  - click HERE.  Or, register in person/phone/mail by calling Jolly Seema 734-994-2300 x53203 or mailing your check and this form c/o/ her to: Rec & Ed ,1515 S. Seventh Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48103.  

  • You will need to answer these short questions:  1) What kind of gardener are you?  2) Are you a Master Gardener? (not required) 3) Why do you want to become a Master Rain Gardener? What t-shirt size are you? (there are t-shirts!)
  • Residents of these Ann Arbor neighborhoods receive a discount:  Miller Avenue (Newport to Maple), Scarlett Mitchell neighborhood (between Packard, Platt, Charing Cross and Lorraine Streets), Stone School Road (Ellsworth to I-94), the Arbor Oaks Park/Bryant Elementary School neighborhood, Easy Street, and neighbors within walkable distance to these parks: Veterans Park, Garden Homes Park .  E-mail for details.

New! Online Master Rain Gardener Certification Class

Master Rain Gardener logo

July 18 - August 15, 2017 - Tuesday lunchtimes 

12:00-1:00pm class; 1:00-1:30pm live Q&A.  Live! Online. 

Master Rain Gardener certification class, but in a live webinar format.   Participants must attend all 5 classes, and build a rain garden to earn their Master Rain Gardener certification.

Login via your work or home computer, or smartphone for this live, online class.

If you would like to be sent a registration link when it becomes available for the next class, e-mail to be put on the list.

Cost:  FREE   (funded by an MDEQ grant, and the City of Ann Arbor)

Online Master Rain Gardener Training Website


Susan Bryan, Rain Garden Coordinator.  Susan has designed over 80 residential rain gardens, and mentored over 350 homeowners planting rain gardens.  She is a past President of Wild Ones, has a Master of Landscape Architecture from University of Michigan, and is a Master Gardener.  

Harry Sheehan, Deputy Water Resources Commissioner.  Harry is responsible for planning and financing ongoing education efforts, and spearheading innovative projects that keep our rivers running clean.  

Shannan Gibb-Randall, Principal at InSite Design Studio, Inc.  Shannan leads InSite Design’s ecologically sensitive landscape design work. Her background is in Art History and Landscape Architecture from the University of Michigan. Projects in her portfolio include the City of Ann Arbor Municipal Center, the Great Lakes Garden at Matthaei Botanical Gardens, and the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center Courtyard.


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