Two-day rain garden workshop

The Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority along with the Camden County Soil Conservation District, Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program, and the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Camden County are offering a two-day training workshop for landscape professionals looking to expand their products and services to include rain gardens.

At this educational program, landscapers will learn the skills to install and maintain a rain garden. The two-day training includes both classroom and field time, including an actual rain garden installation at a Camden County site. Rutgers Cooperative Extension’s rain garden experts will teach landscapers what they need to know to get started with their rain garden projects, from the site selection to the choice of plants.

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Rain gardens are beautiful, inexpensive, and low-maintenance gardens designed to intercept, treat, and infiltrate stormwater at the source, such as a rooftop or driveway, before it becomes runoff. The plants are native to the region and help retain contaminants that could otherwise harm nearby waterways.

Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority, along with the Camden County Soil Conservation District, Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program, and Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Camden County invites, all interested landscape professionals to attend their “South Jersey Rain Garden Training for Professional Landscapers” educational program.

The program is funded by the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority and grants from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium, and the USDA NIFA Northeast States and Caribbean Islands Regional Water Center.

The first day of this educational program will be held on Thursday, Feb. 17 at the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority auditorium, located at 1645 Ferry Avenue in Camden. The second day of this program will be held on Thursday, March 24 at a Camden County site to be announced at the Feb. 17 program. The details of the “Rain Garden Design and Build Contest” will be unveiled at the Feb. 17 program.

Please register online at water.rutgers.edu/Rain_Gardens/RGWebsite/landscaper.html.

The cost of this program is $25, which covers the cost of the Rain Garden Manual of New Jersey ($10 value), refreshments, and lunch for the first day of training. For businesses that would like to send more than one person to the program, there is a discounted rate of $15 for each additional person. This Rutgers Cooperative Extension “South Jersey Rain Garden Training for Professional Landscapers” program is open to the public without regard to sex, race, color, national origin, disability, handicap, or age. The program information is also available on the RCE Water Resources Program Web site at www.water.rutgers.edu.

Photograph Caption: Rutgers Cooperative Extension teaches landscapers about rain gardens through a hands-on rain garden installation at the Washington Township Old Stone House Village in Gloucester County in March 2010 as part of the “South Jersey Rain Garden Training for Professional Landscapers” program.

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