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Blooming Boulevards


In the summer of 2016, Metro Blooms and its partners began installing native plants along boulevards around Redeemer Lutheran Church in the Harrison neighborhood of Minneapolis. Ash trees had already been removed from the boulevards, following the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s plan to address emerald ash borer.

By excavating the boulevards after the removal of trees, we loosened the heavily compacted soil and created swales where there used to be berms. This allowed water to collect in, instead of run off the boulevard, and should benefit the trees that will be planted in the spring.

Read more about Blooming Alleys in WMWA’s Water links June 2017 issue.

To find out even more about Blooming Boulevards, download this FAQ.


In short, we turned boulevards shaped like this:

…into boulevards shaped like this:


Turf Alternative Options

The native plants chosen to replace the turf grass that used to surround the trees will provide food and habitat for pollinators and other stressed wildlife. They will also grow extensive and deep root networks that direct water into the soil to reduce runoff. They’ve been chosen for their hardiness, beauty and low maintenance requirements.

Turf Alternative Options


Harrison Neighborhood

Ash trees abound throughout Harrison; they will be removed in the next five years, along with all the other ash trees along boulevards in the city. It is a tragedy, but also an opportunity. Metro Blooms is working with residents of the Harrison neighborhood to find blocks of neighbors who would like to participate in future installations of Blooming Boulevards to help demonstrate the value of rethinking the purpose and possibility of boulevards.

Harrison Ash Trees


Blooming Boulevards is made possible through the support of:

  • Center for Prevention at Blue Cross Blue Shield of MN
  • The Metropolitan Council
  • Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
  • Mississippi River Green Team
  • Redeemer Lutheran Church
  • Conservation Corps of Minnesota & Iowa

For more information, check out these Frequently Asked Questions.

To get involved or find out more about Blooming Bloulevards, fill out the form below.

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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.