News

rusty patched bumble bee on plant

Why Do We Care About Pollinators?

Pollinators play an essential role in Minnesota’s ecosystems. They help plants reproduce; healthy plant populations provide food and habitat to other wildlife and help to clean air and water. Pollinators sustain a healthy, diverse, functioning ecosystem. Without biodiversity, our ecosystem would fail. This is happening today. Increased human activity, pollutants, homogenization of landscapes, and other…

orange flowers in field, building in back

Sponsor Spotlight: Minnesota Native Landscapes

From restoring native plant communities in a floodplain to managing vegetation at a solar farm to deploying goat herds for buckthorn removal, Minnesota Native Landscapes Corp. (MNL) takes on many large-scale projects as part of its mission to “Heal the Earth.” But this Otsego, MN-based ecological restoration business also supports individuals to take action in…

A New Logo, After 15 Years

Introducing our new logo! It features a black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia) in keeping with our work to promote native planting. And the stem and leaf are like little water droplets — reminding us of the importance of earth-friendly actions we can take to protect our water. Our previous logo served us well for more than 15…

Photo of Laura Scholl

Laura Scholl is New Executive Director of Metro Blooms

The Metro Blooms Board of Directors is proud to announce the appointment of Laura Scholl as Metro Blooms President and Executive Director. Scholl takes this position after 10 years with the organization, most recently as Associate Director and Director of Development. Scholl joined Metro Blooms as a GreenCorps member in 2012. She has been a…

Rebecca Rice

Rebecca Rice Steps Back as Executive Director of Metro Blooms

  Rebecca Rice, the Metro Blooms President and Executive Director, has decided to step back to direct the organization’s Blue Thumb program effective May 9, 2022. Laura Scholl, formerly Associate Director and Director of Fund Development, assumes the role of President and Executive Director. “It is an exciting time at Metro Blooms as our organization…

Impact Climate Change in Your Yard With a Rain Garden

Climate change, the long-term change in the Earth’s temperature, is bringing massive and detrimental consequences. What are these consequences and how do they affect us? Have you noticed the increasingly extreme weather? Like heat waves or flooding rains? The vast majority of scientists agree that human activity is the primary cause of climate change, so…

38th Street: Art, Native Plants and Pollinators

A pollinator garden on 38th Street and Cedar Avenue in Minneapolis, steps from our office, is a garden for all seasons. At the height of the summer, there are blooming coneflowers and black-eyed Susans. Right now the garden is blanketed in white, the coneflowers covered with snow hats. It’s the perfect backdrop for viewing the…

38th Street: More Nature at Hardshell Fitness

The more nature, the better, for Ben Swarts. A couple of years ago, when he moved his business, Hardshell Fitness, into a former gas station on 38th Street at Longfellow, Swarts “threw” some seeds down behind the building. Today that space is a beautiful wildflower garden. Now he looks at the gray expanse of paved…

Metro Blooms receives scholarship for green roofs training

Metro Blooms recently learned we received a $5,000 scholarship from Green Roofs for Healthy Cities to help participants in our Sustainable Landcare Training program gain skills in the green roofs profession. Our training program prepares youths and young adults to be part of a growing green infrastructure workforce as we see more earth-friendly practices such…

“Raingarden Refresh” for Neighborhood of Raingardens 2021

Last summer was the first time we did a Neighborhood of Raingardens program in one community with a major focus on maintenance. The Sheridan Neighborhood Association in Minneapolis wanted to provide previous participants with guidance on caring for their raingardens. So we offered a “raingarden refresh” program. During a one-and-a-half-hour visit, we checked a participant’s…

Sponsor Spotlight: West Monroe and Developing Future Leaders

Developing the next generation of leaders is part of West Monroe’s mission, and it’s one reason the digital and business consulting firm supports Metro Blooms’ Sustainable Landcare Training program to develop a skilled green infrastructure workforce for the future. West Monroe works to deliver digital solutions in diverse fields, from helping a healthcare system establish…

All Nations Church: Planting Seeds of Stewardship

Bendu Kollie wants to learn as much as she can about the plants growing in her church’s raingarden. Her church community, All Nations Seventh-Day Adventist Church, planted it in August with the help of Metro Blooms in a landscape renovation to manage stormwater and help pollinators. She hopes it plants seeds of stewardship among the…

Jumping Worms: Be on the Lookout

  (Photo: Jumping Worm, Flickr, Alfredo Eloisa | CC BY-NC-SA) Jumping worms are relatively new to Minnesota, but they can quickly damage lawns, plants and soil.  They look very much like common earthworms, but they have a characteristic way of moving — they may appear to be jumping — when disturbed. They have been described…

Tips for Making Your Yard Friendlier to Pollinators: James Wolfin Interview

Karen Wright of KMSU Radio’s “Minnesota Morning” discusses pollinators with James Wolfin, Metro Blooms’ sustainable landcare manager. An entomologist with a background in bee lawn research, James talks bees, how they are crucial not only for food but also for sustaining our landscapes, and how we can take steps to help them and other pollinators…

Ecosong: Plant a Song in Your Garden

How can you make beautiful music for beautiful gardens? Through Ecosong, an environmental music project that connects musical creators, community organizations, scientists and others to advance stewardship and make inspiring environmental music. Its song garden program matches musical artists from the community with specific gardens. The artist(s) create music for the garden, and Ecosong produces…

Landscape Redesign: Working With the Community

Inviting a community’s residents to be part of redesigning their landscape helps to create outdoor space more responsive to their needs and increases the likelihood of their stewardship of the space. Currently Metro Blooms is on this journey with tenants at Brook Gardens, a rental community in Brooklyn Park where we recently finished our first…

Summer Internship: Learning About Raingardens

One thing interns are sure to learn about at Metro Blooms is raingardens. This summer we hosted Althea Kuzniewski, an environmental studies major at the University of Minnesota. Althea came to us through the U’s Institute on the Environment, in an internship supported by Ecolab. She had the job of visiting and assessing raingardens we…

Happy Birthday, Riverside Plaza Raingarden!

Residents and other community members helped us plant this raingarden at Riverside Plaza on June 18, 2019. This video, by Yordanose Solomone, Metro Blooms Equitable Engagement Manager, celebrates the raingarden’s first birthday and features a song written for it by Riverside composer Ardo Muse and singer Abdihakiin Aden Farrah.* It may be the first raingarden…

Redesigning Outdoor Spaces With Residents at Rental Communities in Brooklyn Park

Major changes are coming to the outdoor spaces at two affordable housing communities in Brooklyn Park. Metro Blooms has been engaging with residents at Brooks Landing and nearby Brook Gardens to design landscape renovations starting in 2020. The projects will create greater resilience in the environment using raingardens and other green infrastructure, provide native habitat…  Read More

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

Equitable Engagement in Environmental Work

On June 18, dozens of community volunteers turned out to help Metro Blooms plant a raingarden at Riverside Plaza, a huge, high-density apartment complex in Minneapolis’ Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. They pulled on gardening gloves and received a short lesson on planting; within two hours, they had put in 477 plants, creating a beautiful green space that…  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…

Conservation Corps MN & Iowa: a Raingarden Partner

When Metro Blooms is in the field, there’s a good chance that the crew on site are wearing yellow helmets. If so, they are likely a crew from Conservation Corps MN & Iowa, a longtime Metro Blooms partner. This organization has installed more of our raingardens than any other group we work with. In turn,…  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

Measuring Runoff on a Permeable City Alley

How well does permeable pavement reduce runoff? Metro Blooms set out to answer this question in a privately-owned alley in Minneapolis’ Standish-Ericsson neighborhood. We compared how much rain flowed down the alley before and after the installation of a permeable pavement system designed to infiltrate stormwater. We’ve recently completed the study and are pleased to…  Read More

Autumn Ridge and Building Capacity

Metro Blooms is coordinating a major landscape renovation at an affordable housing complex in Brooklyn Park involving many partners, including residents, the owner, local government, a community organization and the watershed district.

Wrapping Up 2018 with a Great Big Thanks

Thank you, friends. Thank you for taking action this year to restore the ecological function of our yards and neighborhoods, whether you were attending our workshops, volunteering your time with us, engaging us to come and work in your yard or on the property where you live, or asking us to join with your organization…  Read More