HomeAdvance your portfolio and skillset at SBN’s 2021 GSI O&M Course

Register now for the 2021 GSI Operations and Maintenance training course.


Operations and maintenance are essential to ensure that public and private GSI projects perform as intended and meet stormwater regulations that drive management plans like the City of Philadelphia’s Green City, Clean Waters plan forward.  This immersive and experiential multi-day course provides landscape professionals with a basic framework and the tools needed to expand their portfolio, advance their skillset, and build knowledge of GSI and sustainable stormwater management practices that will increase their business’ bottom line. This course balances virtual classroom instruction with in-the-field learning and brings together expert instructors from the public and private sectors, including SBN’s GSI Partners members and the Philadelphia Water Department.
In addition, the course offers landscape contractors and grounds managers a deeper understanding of regulatory context, anatomy and function, design and construction considerations, and tasks involved in adaptive and prescriptive management. 
private projects
Attendees discuss vegetation applications at the 2018 GSI O&M course.


After attending this course, landscape professionals should be able to: 
  • Describe the regulatory context of stormwater management.
  • Define Stormwater Management Practices (SMPs) and their sub-surface components.
  • Apply vegetation and above-ground SMP components using adaptive and prescriptive management techniques in both public and private GSI projects.
  • Diagnose and respond to safety and performance issues. 
Please see below a list of the modules offered at this year’s training course, course titles, and facilitators. 

Module 1: GSI Foundation Knowledge

Serving as an introduction to GSI operations and maintenance in land care, this module provides attendees with the practices and concepts needed to identify different SMPs and their components, understand the function and regulatory context of GSI, and standard landscape best practices. The section also covers the foundational knowledge of design and construction to ensure the long-term operation of GSI systems and an overview of adaptive and prescriptive management and its role in the maintenance of GSI.

Courses include:

1.0 Regulatory Context & Stormwater Basics – Domenic Rocco, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection 

1.1 Definition of SMP Types & Anatomy – Alan Fody, Philadelphia Water Department 

1.2 O&M Agreements – Travis Stables, Philadelphia Water Department 

1.3 Design Considerations – Philadelphia Water Department 

1.4 Construction Considerations – Philadelphia Water Department 

1.5 Adaptive & Prescriptive Management – Jim Baney, AKRF

1.6 Soil Management – Mark Highland, Organic Mechanics

Module 2: Operations and Maintenance Fundamentals – Tasks and Common Issues

This module covers routine operations and maintenance tasks, how and why they are performed, and recommend task frequencies for different types of SMPs. This section will also cover the diagnosis of common issues and how to tell if an issue requires evaluation for further intervention.

2.0 Planting, Transplanting, and Seeding – Philadelphia Water Department 

2.1 Watering & Mulching – Kory Dudash, Roofmeadow

2.2 Debris Removal – Nicholas Stoughton, PowerCorps PHL

2.3 Crew Safety & Communications – Jim Baney, AKRF

2.4 Public Safety & Performance Issues – Jim Baney, AKRF

Module 3: Monitoring and Maintenance

This module provides attendees with an understanding of what role prescriptive techniques play in the overall success of GSI and how monitoring can inform maintenance throughout the lifecycle of a project.

3.0 Inspection & Maintenance of Subsurface Elements – Kate Henry, Emerald Green Landscapes

3.1 Monitoring & Maintenance – Meg Malloy, Philadelphia Water Department 

This year’s course takes place virtually from 3 – 5:30 pm on October 26, 28, and November 2, 4, with an in-person field day from 12 – 5 pm on November 5. The course is $300 for non-GSI Partners and $225 for GSI Partners. To learn more and to register, click the below button. 

Since part of this course will be in-person, we ask that you fill out this brief screening as you register for this event to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.


All participants will receive a certificate of completion. Unfortunately, professional grants will not be offered this year. If you’re interested in enrollment and can not meet the ticket amount, please discuss options with Alex Cupo, SBN’s GSI Partners Manager, at alex@sbnphiladelphia.org.