For over ten years, we have been teaching residents throughout Minnesota how to plan, design, install, and maintain their own resilient yard. We began in 2007 by talking about a relatively new idea—a little thing called a “raingarden.” Over time, we incorporated what we learned about pollinators and other wildlife, lawn care, trees and shrubs, healthy soils, sustainable landcare, and more into a suite of workshops that help attendees identify and incorporate ways they can improve their own yards. Sometime in the middle of June, 2019, we welcomed our 10,000th workshop attendee! Through our Sustainable Landcare Training program, focused on youth, young adults, and landscape professionals, we teach people how to properly maintain raingardens, native plant gardens, and other common stormwater practices. We also offer one-on-one education through our on-site consultations and weave our resilient yard messages throughout our neighborhood projects.
In 2015, Metro Blooms began coordinating the Blue Thumb—Planting for Clean Water program and partnership. With a strong base of partners in the Metro area, Southeast Minnesota, and beyond, Blue Thumb is a way for various watersheds, cities, SWCDs, native plant nurseries, ecologically-minded landscape designers and installers, and more to share knowledge, consistent messages, and resources, all in the service of helping folks get more native plants and other clean-water practices in the ground.
In 2019, the Minnesota Board of Soil and Water Resources began the Lawns to Legumes program with funding through the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. Blue Thumb was selected as a partner to help individuals across the state install pollinator habitat.