Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) Certificate Program

Managing stormwater, reducing pollution and complying with federal water quality regulations are a challenge for urban areas across the United States. Parks are critical infrastructure to communities providing natural areas, recreation, community gathering spaces and cooling from urban heat, among many other benefits. They also can enhance greater resilience in communities for cleaner water, reduced localized flooding, and clean air through the installation of Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI), including rain gardens, bioswales and green roofs.

There are many steps to this process, from pilot installations to a park systemwide GSI operation — such as securing public support, financing, ensuring compatible landscape design, managing construction materials and operations, performing ongoing maintenance, and communicating successes. The Green Stormwater Infrastructure Certificate program provides park and recreation professionals the knowledge and tools to promote, oversee, advance and operate GSI in their park systems. Park and recreation professionals will be armed to work collaboratively across departments and partnerships to enhance their community resilience with GSI in parks.

Program Overview

The Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) Certificate provides a comprehensive step-by-step learning forum online in nine-course modules and a review course module. This certificate program provides participants the assurance and foundation to successfully oversee a GSI project or program — from planning to evaluation and every step in between. Each course is about 30 to 60 minutes in length, provides real case studies and knowledge checks for successful knowledge advancement. The online courses have been designed for the working professional in mind and can be completed in small parts, whether you have 10 minutes or an hour.      

Who Should Enroll?

This program is designed for park and recreation professionals, community partners, public works and planners who are seeking to build resilience in their community through Green Stormwater Infrastructure in parks.    

Eligibility Requirements


Program Details

To earn your Green Stormwater Infrastructure Certificate and 1.2 Continuing Education Units (CEUs), you must complete all 10 modules through the online course. 
Whether you have 10 minutes or an hour, the Green Stormwater Infrastructure Certificate offers a robust online learning opportunity designed for maximum flexibility. 

Full Certificate CEUs: 1.2
Full Certificate Price: $420 (members) | $600 (nonmembers)

  • Module One: Overview of Green Stormwater Infrastructure 
    This is the first module of the 10-module training program. Module One will cover why Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) is an important solution, the multiple benefits for community health and resilience with GSI, and an overview of a Green Stormwater Infrastructure in parks. Because there is a wide variety of topics to introduce, this overview module is one of the longest and includes concepts that will be discussed in further detail in later modules.
  • Module Two: Elements of GSI in Parks
    Module Two presents the five phases of general GSI, as well as common barriers, challenges and resolutions. The five GSI phases include planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance, and evaluation.
  • Module Three: Teams and Partnerships Forming Teams
    Teams and partnerships are essential for the long-term success of your GSI project, and they provide multiple benefits to your GSI process. Teams and partnerships are important because they: incorporate and balance multiple agency and community goals; generate a higher level of success through project buy-in; and can leverage resources for planning, design, construction and maintenance.
  • Module Four: Policy and Finance
    This module focuses on the importance of policy and funding, which are critical for the successful implementation of Green Stormwater Infrastructure. The topics for this module include understanding policy drivers, strategies for policy and funding development, and budgeting steps to incorporate GSI funding.
  • Module Five: Stakeholder Engagement and GSI Projects
    Stakeholder engagement increases the success of Green Stormwater Infrastructure projects. This module outlines best practices to increase stakeholder engagement, explores the NRPA Community Engagement Framework, and demonstrates effective stakeholder engagement strategies and plans with case studies.
  • Module Six: Design and Construction Practices
    Module Six describes the three critical design elements of Green Stormwater Infrastructure projects. Additionally, this module provides key methods to ensure proper design and function to prevent time delays and increased costs of construction.
  • Module Seven: Operations and Maintenance
    This module covers the five basic operations and maintenance topics of good housekeeping, routine operations and maintenance procedures, specific maintenance for each Green Stormwater Infrastructure practice, components that should be included in a maintenance plan, and how to monitor the effectiveness of the GSI practice.
  • Module Eight: Evaluating Functions and Benefits
    This module will briefly review the functions and benefits of Green Stormwater Infrastructure that were briefly discussed in Module One. This module also will review general methods of evaluating benefits and functionality of GSI; examine multiple case studies to discuss various evaluation criteria and examples of evaluating how well GSI functions; and finally discuss goals and options for managing all of the data collected.
  • Module Nine: Championing Success
    This module addresses the importance of championing the good, the bad and the ugly when promoting Green Stormwater Infrastructure. Additionally, this module will look at strategies and tools to ensure effective communication and will explore approaches for cultivating partnerships to support GSI over time.
  • Module Ten: Cumulative Review
Components visible upon registration.