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URI Outreach Center

Landscape Restoration Program

| Design Tools & Resources |


Coastal buffer and marsh restoration in 2008 at Warwick Neck Cove in Warwick, RI.

Program Background

The URI Landscape Restoration Program (LRP) strives to create a climate of cooperation among property owners, green industry professionals and RI regulatory agencies through the incorporation of best landscape management practices to protect environmental quality and encourage environmental stewardship in RI. Built from a partnership initiated in 2005 with the Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) that created the Coastal Landscapes Program (CLP), the Landscape Restoration Program works statewide to promote ecological landscape management practices.

Coastal buffer planting.
L-R: Bryan Harrison (URI Coastal Fellow), Kate Venturini (Program Manager), Rob Swanson (Intern)

Program staff and undergraduate interns conduct research to identify the latest environmentally-sensitive landscape management practices and develop landscape design tools for professionals and homeowners. The Landscape Restoration Program offers public workshops for homeowners and landscape and gardening enthusiasts and training programs for professionals on topics ranging from invasive plant management to residential rain garden design.

Training Programs

Trainees after Louttit Library rain garden installation in October, 2011 in West Greenwich, RI.

The training programs listed below are geared towards green industry and environmental consulting professionals working to expand their business niches, and are offered twice annually. Priority is given to professionals, but all are welcome to register. For more information on upcoming training dates, click here.

Residential Rain Garden Training
The Residential Rain Garden Training Program provides green industry and nonprofit professionals, municipal officials, volunteers and government agency staff introductory information on residential-scale rain garden implementation to reduce stormwater runoff. The one-day training includes a classroom session and hands-on field experience building a rain garden. Since 2011, the program has led to the successful installation of public rain gardens in North Kingstown, Providence, West Greenwich and East Providence.

Rain Garden Steward Program

The URI Rain Garden Steward Program trains URI Master Gardener and community volunteers

to maintain public rain gardens for a period of one year. Volunteers monitor plant health and rain garden performance on a weekly or monthly basis to ensure the establishment of the native plant collections within the gardens and the long-term sustainability of the garden to manage stormwater.

Those interested in becoming a steward are asked to attend a short information session to review maintenance protocols and learn how to identify and fix common issues.

To sign up, or if you have any questions, click here.

Invasive plant identification workshop at Canonchet Farm in Narragansett, RI. March 2010.

Invasive Plant Management Certification Program
The two-day Invasive Plant Management Certification Program (IPMCP) trains green industry professionals working in the coastal zone to provide sustainable invasive plant management services to clients, and to facilitate restoration of degraded coastal habitats as Certified Invasive Managers (IMs). IMs are required to renew their certification every 2 years by attending an IPMCP recertification training.

Coastal Landscapes Certification Program
The Coastal Landscapes Certification Program held in January 2007 was the first and only training held in a series intended to certify professionals working in coastal areas governed by the Greenwich Bay SAMP.

"Ecological Landscaping for Habitat & Water Quality Protection" workshop at Save the Bay in Providence, RI. April 2010.

Due to the ongoing development of the SAMP regulations, the other training modules in the series have not yet been scheduled. Those professionals present at the 2007 training will be informed of future trainings, and have been granted partial certification status until full certification can be earned. Questions? Please contact Kate Venturini at


Public workshops and lectures are available to land trusts, conservation commissions, garden clubs and civic groups. See the list of available topics below.

Topics Program Length
  • Stormwater and Your Backyard
  • Ecological Landscaping for Habitat & Water Quality Protection
  • Coastal Landscape Restoration
  • Backyard Habitat Enhancement for Urban and Suburban Areas
  • Invasive Plants and Their Impact on Biodiversity
  • Landscape Site Assessment
  • Rain Gardens 101
  • Invasive Plant Management 101
(30 mins, 1 hour)
(30 mins, 1 hour)
(1 hour)
(1 hour)
(1 hour)
(1.5 hours)
(2 hours)
(2.5 hours)