Raingarden Workshops

Unseasonably warm weather, long droughts and flooding rains are the new normal for spring and summer in Minnesota. Learn how your yard can adapt to and even help mitigate threats posed by these extreme weather events.

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About the Garden Awards

For more than 30 years Minneapolis Garden Awards Program has recognized thousands of gardeners who beautify our community and help to heal and protect our environment.

In recent years, we’ve added many new raingarden categories because of our commitment to improve the quality of water in our rivers, lakes, streams, and creeks.

Anyone can nominate a garden for an award. You can even nominate your own garden for consideration. Only publicly visible gardens can be considered for an award and that certainly could include an alley.

If you see a garden deserving of recognition, please go ahead and nominate the garden online.  Whether a property owner has designed and planted the garden themselves, or they have paid someone else, they have committed their resources and are equally recognized.

Each year during the month of July and early August, 100s of trained volunteers evaluate over 1,000 nominated gardens based on defined criteria and submit their ratings online. The award categories include:


Rating (out of a possible 20 points)

Exceptional Garden 18-20
Garden of Distinction 14-17
Garden of Merit 9-13
Certificate of Appreciation 5-8

Garden awardees will receive a notice in the mail in the months following the completion of the evaluations with information about their award.

Of the thousands of gardens nominated and evaluated each year, only a few exceptional gardens are considered for a top garden award. The best of the best are selected to receive special recognition because of their unique contributions.

Your donation is an investment in the future of our shared legacy, and will help us improve the health of our urban landscapes.

If you love gardens, clean watersheds and working with your community, join hundreds of others and enjoy the fun!

Metro Blooms Blue Thumb program is a public-private partnership promoting the use of native plants, raingardens and shoreline stabilization to improve water quality.