This past summer, we teamed up with neighborhoods, cities, and the Conservation Corps of Minnesota & Iowa (CCM) to install raingardens in residents’ yards and teach them about sustainable landscaping practices along the way. These efforts were part of our Neighborhood of Raingardens program, which aims to make clean-water planting projects easier and more affordable for people living in Minneapolis and surrounding cities.
Neighborhood of Raingardens is unique because it is a cost-share program: cities and neighborhoods pay for a portion of the work (sometimes with the support of a grant), and a Clean Water Fund grant covers costs for CCM to complete installations. That means that resident participants only pay a small share of the cost to get their raingarden in the ground!
This year, we had the opportunity to partner with the Minneapolis neighborhoods of Armatage, Lynnhurst, Windom Park and Waite Park, as well as the City of St. Louis Park. We’re so grateful for our partners and the CCM crew members who did the hard work of digging out and mulching the raingardens.
Raingardens help reduce stormwater runoff, a major cause of water pollution. By creating places where water can slow down, collect, and infiltrate into the soil, we divert runoff (along with pollutants and debris) from entering storm sewers that empty into our lakes and streams. This helps improve the water quality in our watershed. By the end of the season, we installed 87 new raingardens that capture an estimated 1,687,800 gallons of stormwater annually.
The deep-rooted native plants in raingardens also help soak up stormwater and take up pollutants. In addition to cleaning water, these plants provide important habitat and nourishment to pollinators and other wildlife. While our crew and the CMM installed each raingarden, residents got to do the planting! 9,418 sq. feet of raingardens were planted by residents with 4,993 native plants. Thanks so much, residents, for your hard work and enthusiasm!