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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…  Read More

Fall Maintenance for Raingardens and Native Plantings

Landscape and photo by Russ Henry, Giving Tree Gardens We often get questions in the fall regarding raingarden maintenance. One of our Landscape Designers, Andy Novak, recently shared this thoughtful information with one of our Blooming Alley participants, and we thought we’d share it with you all too since it’s very applicable to any area…  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

Fall Raingarden Maintenance

Well folks it’s time.  It seems to me like our spattering of 70 degree days are done for the year, which means you can trade in your lawn mower for a rake and don’t forget to wear your helmet when walking down the street, because those acorns hurt!  It’s also time to put your plants…  Read More

Raingardens And Beyond Workshops, Soon To Be At A Community Center Near You!

Schnazy new title, and some new information too. This year Metro Blooms’ classic Raingarden Workshops are doing just what the new title says…they’re going beyond the do-it-yourself approach to raingarden design and installation and covering topics such as simple healthy lawn care practices more in depth.  The information you’ll gain will be oh so helpful not…  Read More

Riverside Plaza

This project works to transform the impermeable concrete landscape and improve outdoor livability at Riverside Plaza through participatory landscape design, installation, and care focused on stormwater management and urban habitat. This resident-centered design project is conducted in partnership with the Riverside Plaza Tenant Association (RPTA) and property managers. Since the start of planning in 2018,…  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

A Couple That Serves Our Board Together

(photo: Garden nurtured by board members Randy and Bridget Rau) On the Community of Gardeners I have been working with plants and learning about plants for 25-plus years.  I love talking to and informing people about gardening practices and ideas and seeing positive influences for the environment.  Metro Blooms is just an extension of everything…  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

Workshop Reflections

What a Twentysomething Renter Learned   I have recently experienced the effects of poorly managed stormwater: water dripped from the roof and into the spaces between my apartment walls, paint on the wall in our kitchen and common hallway bubbled and cracked, our kitchen flooring became soggy and peeled right up. My husband and I…  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

Metro Blooms Expands Monarch Conservation in Minnesota Metropolitan Area

  As we approach monarch conservation from all angles, we rely on partners who work in different arenas, with different, yet related, expertise. Focusing on restoration of native plants in the urban landscape, the MJV is pleased to welcome Metro Blooms, a Minnesota Twin Cities based metropolitan group working “to promote and celebrate gardening, to…  Read More

2015 Top Garden Awardees Announced

Metro Blooms is pleased to announce the 2015 Top Minneapolis Garden Awards.  These gardens represent some of the most beautiful, creative and sustainable gardens in the Minneapolis, selected by volunteer evaluators from more than 1,000 nominations. The Minneapolis Garden Awards program has been recognizing outstanding work in publicly visible gardens since 1983. Photos of these…  Read More

Blooming Alleys Partnership Results

In our first post about the Blooming Alleys Partnership I described the collaborative meeting we had in April, here at Sabathani, with all of our project partners to figure out what successful Blooming Alleys projects will look like and how this partnership enables and contributes to that success.  We spent much of May working on a qualitative…  Read More

What Is Blooming Alleys All About?

Blooming Alleys is a program of Metro Blooms that aims to protect waterways, create habitat, and transform communities by working with blocks of residents to re-imagine what their alleyway looks like and how it functions. The goal of Blooming Alleys is to reduce the volume of stormwater runoff flowing to the alleyway while creating a beautiful…  Read More

2014 Triumphs And Lessons Learned

Wow.  I know I said last year was busy, but 2014 was so busy we hardly had time to blog about, well, anything.  Over the last 12 months we’ve worked with some amazing partners to install 96 raingardens, 6 bisowales, 1 trench drain, and 4 permeable pavement systems.  We’ve held 7 corporate volunteer events, educated 430 citizens…  Read More

An Alley Blooms

An Alley Blooms  Finally, it was an alley’s time to shine. Blue Thumb recently hosted a tour of the first Blooming Alley in Minneapolis, a green project to redesign back alleys. The tour showed that narrow back lanes separating neighbors from one another can be reinvented as places that connect people and function to protect the environment. All it…  Read More

2013 Triumphs And Lessons Learned

As 2013 winds to an end, we find ourselves spending a lot of time planning for NEXT year.  At Metro Blooms we’re writing work plans for 2014, anxiously awaiting the results of grant applications, and scheduling maintenance and installations for the coming summer.  But I thought before the hustle and bustle of a new year…  Read More

The History Of Lake Nokomis

This past Tuesday, myself, Mark Pedelty (a professor at the U of MN), and three of his students had the pleasure of learning about the history of Lake Nokomis from Steffanie Musich, President of Friends of Lake Nokomis, and Julia Vanatta with Wild Ones. I learned more about Lake Nokomis that day than I thought…  Read More

Lake Nokomis Water Quality Survey

Metro Blooms has recently taken on its largest survey yet.  Throughout February we’ve been prepping, administering and entering oodles of data from our first ever KAP study  (KAP stands for knowledge, attitudes and practices).  The idea behind a KAP study is to survey a population, in this case 700 residents in the Lake Nokomis subwatershed,…  Read More

Earth Day 2012: Teaming Up With Project For Pride And Living

N. MPLS– This Earth Day, Metro Blooms is teaming up with Project for Pride in Living (PPL) to build a raingarden. Not just any raingarden mind you, but a raingarden rich in community initiative. The Earth Day project will complete PPL’s renovation of an affordable apartment building at 2521 Girard Ave N. The housing building…  Read More

And The Survey Says…

Here in the office we’ve been analyzing Raingarden Workshop surveys from years gone past, pulling out  trends and interesting snippets that can point us to a better awareness of our audience, understanding their needs and interests. Here’s a summary of the strongest findings using Pearson’s Correlations to keep you in the loop… (sparing the extensive…  Read More

Spotlight Projects: Spring 2012

All of us here at Metro Blooms are excited for our 2012 projects… we have dozens!  😀There are two however that we’d like to describe more in depth: Urban Homeworks and the Seward Montessori School Magnet. These projects indeed don’t stop at the raingarden themselves. Both promise a high level of initiative and enthusiasm to bring…  Read More