The need for a certification program for professionals arose when the Chesapeake Conservation Landscape Council (CCLC), other CBLP consortium members, and local governments realized that constructions to collect and channel storm water were failing to perform as expected. These constructions are known as Best Management Practices (BMPs), and include rain gardens, bio-swales, filter strips, and pervious pavement, among others. The lack of expected performance was traced to problems with their design, installation, and/or maintenance.
To overcome these problems, the CBLP certification was developed to provide a workforce that could address these BMP failures. It was determined that having landscape professionals that are consistently trained in conservation landscaping practices would likely result in higher BMP performance. The certification would also be a pathway for pushing conservation landscaping into the mainstream of landscape design and maintenance practice.
A pilot trial of CBLP Level 1 certification training and examination occurred in September 2016 to January 2017, and Level 2, from December 2016 March 2017. Certification credentials were issued in early 2017. The pilot program results were: Level 1 had 113 certifications;
Level 2 had 21 certifications; and two certifications that included Level 1 and Level 2.
Of pilot candidates, 55 percent were landscape designers and 9 percent were landscape architects.
A second group of applicants for CBLP certification is underway now--May 2017.
Currently, the certification is available in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, and will also be available in Pennsylvania in late 2017. CBLP will then be expanded to the other states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, which are New York, West Virginia, and Delaware.