Mission & History
Metro Blooms’ mission is to promote and celebrate gardening, to beautify our communities and help heal and protect our environment.
Milestones in our History
Our original program, Blooming Boulevards, grew out of the Committee on Urban Environment (CUE), established by the Minneapolis City Council in 1968. The private nonprofit organization Friends of CUE was established in 1979. The efforts of Blooming Boulevards to promote and recognize boulevard gardens began in 1983 under the leadership of CUE member Nate Siegel. Mr. Siegel was so impressed with the beautiful boulevard flower gardens on a visit to Vancouver, B.C., that he started a similar program to beautify Minneapolis.
After city funds which supported the Blooming Boulevards program were eliminated due to budget cuts in 2002, our nonprofit status as Friends of CUE enabled us to receive donations and grants to carry on our mission of promoting and celebrating Minneapolis gardens.
In 2003, the name of the program was changed to Minneapolis Blooms to reflect the broader scope of our work, since all publicly visible Minneapolis gardens were encouraged and recognized – those in front and side yards, back yards seen from the alley, as well as boulevard gardens. To this day, nominated gardens are reviewed each year by trained volunteer garden evaluators and are presented with a Minneapolis Garden Award.
In 2005, Minneapolis Blooms formed partnerships with several cities and watershed districts to take the lead in educating and engaging the gardening community to become active stewards of our water resources. Minneapolis Blooms developed and conducted an innovative series of Raingarden Workshops to inform, coach and offer onsite consultations to Minneapolis residents to encourage the installation of raingardens and native plants to capture rainwater onsite and prevent polluted runoff from entering our water bodies.
On December 5, 2007, Minneapolis Blooms officially changed its name to Metro Blooms. The name change exemplified our new commitment to eco-friendly gardening throughout the Twin Cities metropolitan area.
In 2009, Metro Blooms began work on our first Neighborhood of Raingardens projects in the Cleveland, Victory and Powderhorn Neighborhoods of Minneapolis. Since 2009, we have installed more than 1,000 raingardens working hand-in-hand with many partners, neighborhoods, and hundreds of volunteers.
In May of 2015, the Rice Creek Watershed District Board of Managers approved the Blue Thumb transfer agreement. Blue Thumb – Planting for Clean Water® is a public private partnership program that promotes native plants, raingardens, and shoreline stabilizations to reduce runoff and improve water quality. Blue Thumb is operated and managed by Metro Blooms through a license agreement with the Rice Creek Watershed District.