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Blue Thumb Education

Blue Thumb – Planting for Clean Water is a partnership of local government, landscape contractors, native plant nurseries and other entities committed to the promotion of native plantings, rain gardens, and shoreline plantings. Blue Thumb is managed by Metro Blooms and provides our education programs, including the ones listed below. Learn more about Blue Thumb…

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Sponsorship

We invite you to sponsor our work, supporting people, water, and pollinators.

Who We Are

Mission Metro Blooms partners with communities to create resilient landscapes and foster clean watersheds, embracing the values of equity and inclusion to solve environmental challenges.

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Our Mission Metro Blooms partners with communities to create resilient landscapes and foster clean watersheds, embracing the values of equity and inclusion to solve environmental challenges. Learn about our work

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Rich Harrison on Landscape Design, People, Pollinators and Joy

A nonexistent raingarden is how Rich Harrison connected with Metro Blooms. He was the caretaker of the apartment building where he lived, and the yard there was a mess: a couple of trees had been taken down, stormwater was collecting, and nothing was growing. Harrison decided to put in a raingarden. He knew of Metro…

Volunteer Information

Note: If you are interested in volunteering as a Lawns to Legumes (L2L) coach to help L2L grant recipients with at-home pollinator habitat projects, please fill out this form on our Blue Thumb Education website.

seedlings in containers ready to be planted

Low-Cost and Accessible Gardening Resources

Do you know there are many resources available for free or at low cost? Some of them may be right in your neighborhood. Have a look below to find out where you can get trees, compost, mulch, and seeds — and to learn more about gardening. We’ll also add upcoming events occasionally.

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Learning and Job Resources

The green economy is growing, providing well-paying jobs and education opportunities to people interested in beautifying and protecting the environment. Below you’ll find a variety of career and learning resources, many of them for youth and young adults, to help you get started researching opportunities.

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Grant Resources

Over the years Metro Blooms has benefited from numerous public and private grants. Our knowledge is not comprehensive, but we’re happy to share what we know with others doing community work. In particular we’ve had success with local government grants for clean water and pollinator habitat projects that include community engagement and management.

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Renter Resources

  The list below offers many helpful sources of information for renters.

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…

Awards Recognizing Metro Blooms

2022 Environmental Initiative Award, Local Sustainability Impacts, for Brook Gardens: Clean Water + Livability, a multi-partner project engaging a rental community on co-creation of more resilient landscapes 2022 Environmental Excellence Award, Minnesota Erosion Control Association 2021 Summer Blossom Award, Grand Neighborhood Garden, City of Brooklyn Park, for our work engaging rental communities on co-creation of…

2023 Sponsorship

We invite you to sponsor our work. You would be supporting more resilient landscapes that protect our natural bodies of water and our pollinators, and the people and communities working with us towards creating them. Depending on the sponsorship you choose, you would benefit from your brand presence on our Metro Blooms and Blue Thumb…

Instagram Links

Now Hiring: Education + Fundraising Assistant Hennepin County Healthy Tree Canopy Grants Blog Post: John Kinara Appointed New Chair of Metro Blooms Board Blue Thumb Resilient Yards Learning Series + Workshops Blue Thumb Resources Lawns to Legumes Recycling Association of Minnesota: Rain Barrel Sale Minneapolis Spring Tree Sale Lottery Blue Thumb: Steps to Plant For…

Brook Gardens

We started working with the Brook Gardens community in 2019. Community members were co-creators in this project to create more resilient and livable outdoor spaces. Residents set priorities for the…  Read More

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…

Employment

Who We Are Metro Blooms is a nonprofit that partners with communities to create resilient landscapes and foster clean watersheds, embracing the values of equity and inclusion to solve environmental challenges. We believe that collaboration with community is the most impactful way to heal our earth and we strive to center relationships in all that…

Neighborhood Projects

For over ten years, we have worked with neighborhoods, cities, and so many other partners to install accessible and functional projects with their residents.

City of Champlin Landcare

Metro Blooms began working with the City of Champlin in 2014 to maintain large-scale rain gardens that infiltrate runoff from the Champlin City Hall and Police Department. That partnership has…  Read More

Autumn Ridge

Autumn Ridge

Autumn Ridge Apartments is a 17-acre, 366-unit rental community in Brooklyn Park. This is our pilot site for our equitable engagement framework, which includes resident-centered design, installation, and training to…  Read More

Neighborhood of Raingardens

Our Neighborhood of Raingardens program began in 2009 to support large-scale community participation in the installation of raingardens and to build awareness of raingardens and other actions you can take in your landscape to protect clean water in our environment. Typically, these projects are a cost share between a neighborhood organization and property owners. Participants attend…