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All Nations Church: Planting Seeds of Stewardship

Bendu Kollie wants to learn as much as she can about the plants growing in her church’s raingarden. Her church community, All Nations Seventh-Day Adventist Church, planted it in August with the help of Metro Blooms in a landscape renovation to manage stormwater and help pollinators. She hopes it plants seeds of stewardship among the…

Redesigning Outdoor Spaces With Residents at Rental Communities in Brooklyn Park

Major changes are coming to the outdoor spaces at two affordable housing communities in Brooklyn Park. Metro Blooms has been engaging with residents at Brooks Landing and nearby Brook Gardens to design landscape renovations starting in 2020. The projects will create greater resilience in the environment using raingardens and other green infrastructure, provide native habitat…  Read More

Raingarden Care: Growing Need for Sustainable Landcare Skills

More and more, people understand the value of a raingarden as a green solution to preventing runoff that leads to water pollution and downstream flooding. At Metro Blooms, we are delighted to see raingardens becoming more common. Unfortunately, we see many raingardens — including ones that we designed and installed — in need of some…  Read More

A Decade of Neighborhood of Raingardens

One of our longest-running programs, Neighborhood of Raingardens, turns 10 this year. Over the past decade, we’ve been installing raingardens in people’s yards, neighborhood by neighborhood, while teaching residents about landscaping practices that can help reduce stormwater runoff, a major cause of water pollution. Our goal is to help people make their property and community…

Conservation Corps MN & Iowa: a Raingarden Partner

When Metro Blooms is in the field, there’s a good chance that the crew on site are wearing yellow helmets. If so, they are likely a crew from Conservation Corps MN & Iowa, a longtime Metro Blooms partner. This organization has installed more of our raingardens than any other group we work with. In turn,…  Read More

Our Own Crew, and Teaching Sustainable Landcare

Metro Blooms is putting together our first crew! They’ll be among the first “students” in a training program we’ve been developing to teach sustainable landcare. We’re planning to teach the crew about environmentally responsible gardening and landscaping practices, including hands-on experience in installing and maintaining a variety of stormwater best management practices. So we’re expanding…  Read More

Measuring Runoff on a Permeable City Alley

How well does permeable pavement reduce runoff? Metro Blooms set out to answer this question in a privately-owned alley in Minneapolis’ Standish-Ericsson neighborhood. We compared how much rain flowed down the alley before and after the installation of a permeable pavement system designed to infiltrate stormwater. We’ve recently completed the study and are pleased to…  Read More

Autumn Ridge and Building Capacity

Metro Blooms is coordinating a major landscape renovation at an affordable housing complex in Brooklyn Park involving many partners, including residents, the owner, local government, a community organization and the watershed district.

Jun Tang Maps Pollinator Sweet Spots

Jun Tang is committed to making the Twin Cities and beyond more habitable for some of our smallest denizens: pollinators. A regional planner for Metro Blooms, Tang has developed a comprehensive mapping system to achieve this goal. His system creates highly-detailed maps of pollinator habitat and then identifies “sweet spots” where the money spent to…  Read More

Your Soil Health Really Matters

Please call it soil, not dirt. The rock, clay, minerals and silt that make up dirt are largely devoid of the organic matter and living organisms in the complex ecosystem that is healthy soil. In our newest workshop on creating healthy soil, in partnership with the Minnesota State Horticultural Society, local soil experts share practical knowledge…  Read More

Metro Blooms and Social Enterprise at NEON

(Caption: The NEON Property Maintenance program invests in human capital. Sheltonn Johnson, manager of program) Sheltonn Johnson now sees plants that he used to walk by every day without ever noticing. He is familiar with different ways of preventing stormwater runoff and has hands-on experience in measuring and excavating a raingarden. These are some benefits…  Read More

Metro Blooms, St. Louis Park and the Rainwater Rewards Partnership

(Photo courtesy of the City of St. Louis Park) “I am a raingarden” signs have sprouted like wildflowers in some St. Louis Park neighborhoods this summer. They are located in raingardens installed under a new program intended to make the process easier and less costly for homeowners. The Rainwater Rewards Grant Program, a partnership between…  Read More

Lynnhurst Garden Tour: Raingardens, a Native Planting, a Bee Lawn

Three raingardens and a yard with native plantings were featured on a recent tour of a Metro Blooms project in Minneapolis’ Lynnhurst neighborhood. They were part of a program that makes environmentally-friendly landscaping and gardening strategies available to residents at a significant savings. It’s called Lynnhurst Yards and Gardens for Clean Water. The program is a…  Read More

Jennifer Moeller: Landscape Designer and Artist

Metro Blooms’ design team has become more artistic. When new member Jennifer Moeller is not out in the field working or in the office planning, she just might be drawing or painting. The aquarium mural in the lobby of the pediatric floor at a local hospital is her work, as are the animal murals in…  Read More

A Blooming Alley in St. Paul

Metro Blooms of Minneapolis has taken its work to make alleys greener across the river into St. Paul. Four raingardens, three areas of native plantings and a permeable pavement system are new features of the landscape in and near a Merriam Park alley that help prevent water pollution and provide more natural habitat. It’s part…  Read More

Metro Blooms at the One Water Summit

(Caption: Some people bring their best game faces to important events. Community Engagement Manager Kimberly Carpenter brought Metro Blooms’ best flower faces. Photo courtesy of Hennepin County Extension). Metro Blooms had 15 minutes of fame recently when its clean water work in the Harrison Neighborhood in Minneapolis was featured on a bus tour of innovative…  Read More

Metro Blooms: Seeking Environmental Justice in the Harrison Neighborhood

If Metro Blooms were a vehicle (green energy-powered, of course), the community would be the driver. The destination is always the same: clean water, habitat and a more beautiful environment. But it is a community’s residents, businesses and local institutions that decide how the journey is taken. As a non-profit that specializes in ecological landscaping,…  Read More

Raingarden Maintenance Made Easier: Good Timing and Tools

In a raingarden, there will always be weeding, but you can make it easier on yourself if you have good timing and the right tools. That was one of the main messages at the first session of Sustainable Landcare: Raingarden Maintenance, a three-part workshop series organized by Metro Blooms’ Blue Thumb organization. The workshop was…  Read More

Creating Climate Resilient Yards

We live in unsettled times, and nowhere is this more evident than outside our own windows. Through them, we see more extreme weather events every year. Leslie Yetka, of the Freshwater Society, has been observing these changes since childhood, when she would sail tinfoil boats down rivers of snow-melt in the street. As an adult, she…  Read More

Planting For Pollinators: How Raingardens Can Help

In a world without bees, your next plate of food would have considerably less variety. By some estimates, one of every three bites of food we take depends on pollinators like bees. Pollinators are the small creatures—among them bees, butterflies and hummingbirds—that carry pollen from plant to plant as they forage, unknowingly performing an important step…  Read More

Blooming Alley Tour & Happy Hour

Written by Aleli Balagtas Come see Metro Blooms’ first Blooming Alley, and rediscover back alleys. The idea is to look beyond garbage cans and garages and envision alleys as inviting, ecological community spaces. That’s what neighbors on a block near Minneapolis’Lake Nokomis did last spring when they started planning their alley makeover as part of…  Read More