Seeking Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional Certification Coordinator

Position Closed.

Nature & Purpose

As local governments and developers look to meet Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) and new Environmental Site Design (ESD) regulations, and municipalities experience a growing need to retrofit existing stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) on residential and business properties, there is an increased demand for individuals and firms trained in proper conservation landscaping practices. When designed, installed, and maintained properly, conservation landscaping techniques such as rain gardens, bio-retention, native plantings, and bioswales are effective and feasible practices for property owners to implement to reduce pollution originating from their property.

Local interest and efforts to implement conservation landscaping techniques has resulted in a wide range of design, construction, and maintenance approaches applied throughout the Bay watershed. Without a consistent set of standards, accurate measurement of the pollutant load reduction from these practices is impossible. Localities, non-profits, and property owners need qualified professionals to implement these practices; without a central certification program many have independently struggled to develop and train the landscape community practice by practice. The result: duplication of effort; no set standards; many failed projects; and no means for private property owners to find a knowledgeable landscape professional.

Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council and partners, UMD Sea Grant Extension, Wetlands Watch, and Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Habitat Partners (Consortium) are developing a new comprehensive training and certification program: the Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional (CBLP) Certification Program. The CBLP will formalize a set of conservation landscaping standards and create a thoroughly trained workforce of landscaping professionals and firms that have the skills and expertise to design, install, and maintain small scale conservation landscaping practices for efficient nutrient and sediment removal. In addition, consumers will benefit by having a reliable source of qualified landscape contractors to choose from. Initially, the CBLP will be piloted in Maryland, Virginia and the DC Metropolitan Area. The ultimate goal is CBLP certification recognized and accepted throughout every state and locality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Duties & Responsibilities

The CBLP Coordinator will work directly with a Consortium of key stakeholders, including UMD Sea Grant Extension staff, Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council Training Committee leadership and the Virginia Certification Coordinator to refine and follow a work plan to accomplish the scope of work below. In many cases, the Consortium will closely oversee and assist with some of the deliverables. The resulting certification curriculum and materials will reflect the Consortium’s standards and subject expertise, integrate with existing professional landscape certifications, utilize existing and new training opportunities to provide knowledge and skills for certification and meet the needs of the multiple constituencies engaged in certification development. The Coordinator position will directly report to the Training Committee of the CCLC Board of Directors, however the position requires a high level of self direction and ability to collaborate with many partners.

Scope of Responsibilities:

  • Conduct a review and preliminary assessment of existing local training and certification programs and resources including but not limited to LID Center, Baltimore CivicWorks, University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center, Nursery Trade Associations, local government contractor training programs, Chesapeake Stormwater Network, George Washington University and community college certificates and programs. Explore key programs outside the region that may inform the development of CBLP.
  • Identify, engage and convene key stakeholders, including representatives from landscape trade associations, local governments, non profits, community colleges, and others to collaboratively develop the CBLP certification including training standards. Provide timely feedback and management of the group’s tasks.
  • Create a curriculum outline for design, installation and maintenance modules that includes training and exam components.
  • Create a pilot plan including a list of pilot partners, timeline and funding needs for the pilot phase of the Certification. Pilot CBLP certification in at least 1 county in Maryland, including training, application review and exam.
  • Evaluate pilot success and work with the Consortium to create a plan for Maryland wide implementation of CBLP.
  • Establish the administrative framework required for the CBLP certification including procedures for offering and scoring the exam, distributing the curriculum manual, establishing a searchable online database and website, certification application, defining renewal and continuing education requirements, and evaluating future financing structure.
  • Manage contractual projects related to the certification including website, database, and curriculum development.
  • Assist Consortium with its efforts to recruit additional funding for CBLP and in the reporting for current funding. Create a plan for the long term financing of the certification.
  • Collaborate with the Virginia CBLP coordinator and workgroup to ensure that both programs adhere to the same standards and provide the leadership to create one regional certification.
  • Create a plan for rolling out a Bay-wide certification.



  • Bachelor’s degree required. The appointee shall have an educational background related to the specific position (degree in ecology, landscape architecture, horticulture, environmental studies, conservation studies, biology or related).
  • Must have demonstrated achievement in project management and must have shown originality and creative ability in designing new programs.
  • Personal transportation and valid driver’s license required. Must be willing to travel throughout Maryland.
  • Flexible working hours required; must be available for evening and/or weekend programs and meetings as necessary.
  • Technical content knowledge: Federal and state water quality regulations including the Bay TMDL and Local WIPs, including local credits for small scale stormwater BMPs. Understanding of landscape standards for design, installation, maintenance of BMPs, Environmental Site Design, and related fields including ecology, hydrology, soil science, and horticulture.
  • Competency in computer skills including database and website management.
  • Practical/demonstrated experience in 2 of the three areas of BMP implementation: design, installation and/or maintenance.
  • Excellent written or oral communication skills
  • Demonstrated leadership and project management skills with evidence of being able to effectively communicate with diverse groups of people.


  • 3-5 years of professional work experience in a related field.
  • MD or VA Certified Professional Horticulturalist (or equivalent)

Closing Date

January 9, 2015

To Apply

Application should be submitted via email with a total size no larger than one megabyte. To apply, submit cover letter, resume and 2 references from persons in related field to:
Suzanne Etgen, CCLC Board Member
(443) 871-0700

View full announcement: [download id=”896″]

More Information

For more information on the Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional Certification Program, see our info flyer (.pdf) and presentation from the 2014 Chesapeake Watershed Forum.

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More Information

View the information flyer for the CBLP Certification Program.

View the information flyer for the CBLP Certification Program.

S. Hughes presentation at the 2014 Chesapeake Watershed Forum - re: Certification and partnering with the Landscape Community to achieve widespread adoption of conservation landscaping and stormwater BMPs on private property.

S. Hughes presentation at the 2014 Chesapeake Watershed Forum - re: Certification and partnering with the Landscape Community to achieve widespread adoption of conservation landscaping and stormwater BMPs on private property.