Green Infrastructure Training hosted in the Lake Champlain Basin

By Lake Champlain Sea Grant staff
April 23, 2024

This spring, Lake Champlain Sea Grant hosted the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program (NGICP) for the first time in the Lake Champlain Basin. The NGICP prepares workers with knowledge needed to install, inspect, and maintain green stormwater infrastructure (GSI), a suite of practices that use natural processes in vegetation, soils, and other elements to manage stormwater and create healthier human environments. The comprehensive 35-hour course is administered by EnviroCert International Inc. and was originally developed by the Water Environment Federation. As a result of the course, approximately 15 professionals intend to become certified in GSI installation, inspection, and maintenance, to support the increase in implementation of nature-based solutions throughout the basin. 

The course consisted of modules delivered live online covering a wide range of GSI topics, that include hydrology, site management, GSI materials, proper installation techniques, and assessing GSI condition and function. The GSI practices that the course covered include: bioretention, stormwater wetlands, dry wells, permeable pavement, green & blue roofs, and rain barrels & cisterns. Examples of some of these practices can be found in the  Lake Champlain Sea Grant story map about residential stormwater management

“We were thrilled for the opportunity to host a comprehensive, nationally recognized training program and bring practitioners together to discuss best practices for installing and managing GSI,” says Jill Sarazen, LCSG Green Infrastructure Collaborative Coordinator. “Attendees asked great questions that demonstrated interest in promoting GSI best practices in their communities.” 

Participants came from across the Lake Champlain basin in Vermont and New York and brought their experience working in environmental non-profit programming, landscape design and installation, construction, and municipal stormwater programs. The course facilitated networking between practitioners and sharing ideas and experiences, a valuable outcome expressed by participants. 

“I'm excited to share some of the information I learned about stormwater site design and planning with [my colleagues] ahead of the project [we are implementing],” says one participant. “I also hope my increased technical knowledge may allow me to connect with more local partners doing GSI implementation and maintenance work to line up [future projects].” 

At the end of the course, there was a full day of site visits to GSI sites in Burlington and South Burlington. The class enjoyed hearing from a local landscape architect, City Arborist, and Stormwater Program Staff about their experience designing and managing these systems. Discussions amongst practitioners provided local context to the national training curriculum. 

The Green Infrastructure Collaborative (GIC) is a partnership between Lake Champlain Sea Grant and the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Clean Water Initiative Program (CWIP). The purpose of the GIC is to bridge the gap between research, extension, and application of green stormwater infrastructure (GSI). Learn more about the GIC.


This project has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreement (LC-00A00695-0) to NEIWPCC in partnership with the Lake Champlain Basin Program.