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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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Blooming Alleys for Clean Water

Metro Blooms is working with neighbors along alleyways to create pedestrian-friendly community spaces that provide habitat and protect water quality. Alleyways are often unattractive and carry thousands of gallons of water—and the pollution it picks up—to storm drains every year. This project helps solve these challenges by:

1) Working with community members to design and install visually appealing practices such as raingardens, pervious pavement, and native plantings to reduce the amount of runoff and pollution that would otherwise flow down the alley and into storm drains.

2) Transforming alleyways into habitat corridors that attract pollinators.

3) Engaging neighbors in the design of their backyard and driveway and working with them to create one cohesive look while addressing individual site challenges.

The first Blooming Alley was installed in 2014.  In 2015, we installed 4 more and in 2016 we have plans for another 12! So far, projects have been focused around Lake Nokomis, Diamond Lake, and the Lynnhurst Neighborhood, but we’re expanding to Cleveland and Harrison Neighborhoods this year as well!

We’re currently looking for more blocks near Lake Nokomis and in the Cleveland and Harrison Neighborhoods of Minneapolis.  If you live in these areas, or would like to start a Blooming Alley project on your block, let us know by using the form below.

Check out our project profiles for specific locations, or our photo gallery to see what your alley could look like!

The Blooming Alleys program is supported by the following partners:

  • Land & Legacy Amendment Clean Water Fund
  • Minnehaha Creek Watershed District
  • City of Minneapolis
  • Hennepin County
  • Center for Prevention at Blue Cross Blue Shield of MN
  • Lynnhurst Neighborhood Association
  • Friends of Lake Nokomis
  • Friends of Diamond Lake
  • Nokomis East Neighborhood Association
  • Cleveland Neighborhood Association
  • Harrison Neighborhood Association
  • Master Water Steward program
  • Shingle Creek Watershed Management Commission
  • Borgert Products
  • Conservation Corps of Minnesota & Iowa
  • J.L. Theis
  • Earth Wizards
  • Target
  • Thomson-Reuters
  • Cummins


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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.