Real Plants Florida
Growing, planting and promoting
Florida native plants for sustainable landscapes.
Gardeners & Homeowners

Chesapeake Bay Watershed Sustainable Landscape Maintenance

Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional Certification

Past FANN President Terry Godts sat in on a webinar presenting the Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional Certification Program and is excited for the potential for Florida and FANN.

The CBLP certification program was created to reduce nutrient flows into the Chesapeake Bay. The Chesapeake Bay watershed includes the following states: NY, PA, MD, DE, VA, DC. It’s a 2-level, individual, regional credential for landscape professionals. There are many partners and grant funding sources. The program is new and expected to be fully functional by 2018.

The program offers the publications “Conservation Landscaping Guidelines” and “8 Essential Elements of Conservation Landscaping,” both easy to read and digest. Because most public lands are already using these practices, this program is specifically directed toward conservation landscaping practices for private property, like homes, churches, and schools.

Regulatory Compliance & Credit
Funders and others need assurance that landscape practices meet certain standards and don’t fail (looks bad, plants don’t thrive, poor maintenance, etc.). Homeowners are concerned that rain barrels don’t look pretty. Often landscapes aren’t designed, installed, or maintained appropriately.

CBLP has developed a system of training for certification. Homeowners can receive regulatory or municipal credit for installation using these practices. Partner with stormwater professionals. Program will be self-sustaining by next year.

Professional certification baseline credentials
Program is a 3-track credential system for individuals. It’s an advanced, stackable credential aligned with existing trade certifications. Program will be self-sustaining with income from fees. Branded and marketed certification for professional hiring.

This certification is expected to be a marketable credential, to increase earnings, to connect clients with job opportunities, and access to training.

The program was developed with input from stakeholders and technical experts for content. They tried to use existing publications and other materials. The certification program is rigorous, but not onerous. Collaboration with partners who “own” part of the process. They established reciprocity with CEUs of other providers.

Pilot strategy
Program developers worked with partners and experts to ensure consistency and geographic expansion. They limited the number of sites initially, focused efforts to expand geographically, and tried to make the program customizable. Had 116 students in pilot program.

Read more: