2017 Resilient Yard Workshops

Our climate is changing. Unseasonably warm weather, extreme heat and flooding rains are the new normal for spring and summer in Minnesota. Runoff is the primary source of water pollution in our cities and suburbs. Bees, butterflies and other pollinators struggle to find food in deserts of pavement and turf. Learn how to mitigate the impact of these events in your yard and how you can help your yard adapt.

Raingarden Workshops

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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Resilience generally refers to one’s ability to bounce back or recover easily from a setback. But what does it mean when we talk about a Resilient Yard? How can we take a known term, apply it to a known entity like our yard, and come away with relevant tactics? At Metro Blooms, we have largely focused on improving water quality and, more recently, the health of pollinators. We are continuing to expand our reach by examining how our entire yard can be treated to further the idea of Landscape Resilience.

Carl Folke, an environmental ecologist at Stockholm University, defines landscape resilience as “the underlying capacity of an ecosystem to maintain desired ecosystem services in the face of a fluctuating environment and human use.” This workshop identifies landscape tactics as capacity builders for your yard to flourish under increasing environmental stresses.

 

Weather patterns in Minnesota are changing. Summers are seeing hotter temperatures and erratic, powerful rainstorms resulting in frequent flooding. The growing season is longer but there is more time between rainfalls, causing greater stress on plants. Warmer winters are impacting pest populations and habitat areas for animal species. With such environmental stresses, we must look for each aspect of our landscape to serve multiple functions. For example, boulevards can absorb water and provide forage for pollinators; a patio can be a gathering space and a water infiltration area; and turf areas and traditional gardens can be designed with species selected for their resistance to drought.

How will a resilient yard make a difference in your neighborhood?

  1. You’ll learn how planting trees and native plants help lower temperatures by up to 20 degrees F, improves air quality and reduces stressful noise.

  2. You’ll learn how to help protect our clean water by planting raingardens that capture and filter dirty water runoff.

  3. You’ll discover how planting for pollinators can keep our local fruits and vegetables growing healthy and strong.

  4. You’ll hear about new ways to look at your yard including lo-mow and no-mow alternatives to grass, bee lawns, raingardens, and other resilient-yard practices.

  5. You’ll get one-on-on design assistance from Metro Blooms and Blue Thumb landscape designers, U of M Extension Master Gardeners from Hennepin County, and Master Water Stewards trained by the Freshwater Society.

Although it may seem small in comparison to global issues, interventions at the residential scale can make a difference. Any water you retain on your property reduces the amount of cumulative stress on our aging stormwater infrastructure. Our urban gardens can be a partial replacement for critical habitat corridors displaced by land use changes and shifting habitat zones. Your actions can serve as an educational tool for friends and family. Stacking ecological potential on top of the typical uses in your yard ensures the small piece of land you call home will flourish under any weather patterns. This designed resilience will also make your yard a piece in the network of adaptive strategies needed to protect the health of our environment on a regional and global scale.

 

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.