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Workshops

2021 workshops include resilient yards, bee lawns, and planting for pollinators!

Workshop schedule

EJ Hub

We are working to integrate equity into our programs and partnership.

More about the Hub

 

Planting For Clean Water … and Pollinators!

8/25/2021 Update

Applications are open for cost-share grants through the Board of Water and Soil Resources’ Lawns to Legumes program. Minnesota residents are eligible for up to $300 in cost-share funding to create habitat for pollinators in their yards.

Apply

Blue Thumb is proud to continue partnering with Minnesota’s Board of Water and Soil Resources on the Lawns to Legumes program to help residents convert some of their yard to flowering plants that provide habitat and forage to pollinators and other wildlife. Minnesota is home to over 450 native species of bees, many suffering declining populations. One of them, the rusty patched bumble bee, was the first bee in the continental US to be listed as endangered. We hope state residents will continue to work towards helping the species rebound and support other pollinators, and in the process create a beautiful, blooming, buzzing landscape!

“The high demand for individual support grants shows that Lawns to Legumes resonates deeply with Minnesota residents by providing them with concrete action steps they can take to benefit pollinators,” said BWSR Executive Director John Jaschke. “We’re excited to build off this momentum and offer opportunities to even more Minnesotans who want to play a role in combatting pollinator population decline.”

The program offers cost-share grants, workshops and free online resources to help you get started, whether you are interested in creating a bee lawn, pocket planting or pollinator meadow, or learning about pollinator-friendly trees or shrubs, or need information on site planning, or you are just curious about plants that rusty patched bumble bees like.

More about Lawns to Legumes


Blue Thumb 2021 Workshops

Resilient Yards Workshop Framework for resilience in your yard: site planning, raingardens, conventional turf lawn alternatives, trees, native plantings and more. Includes one-on-one design assistance.

Bee Lawns Workshop A “how-to” guide on creating a bee lawn that promotes pollinator health, water quality and natural resource conservation.

Planting for Pollinators Workshop Based on the MN Board of Water and Soil Resources’ Lawns to Legumes program. Learn about the current health status of pollinators in Minnesota and how to help them in your yard.

Attention Lawns to Legumes grant recipients: If you received a Lawns to Legumes cost-share grant and still haven’t submitted your project, you can attend an upcoming workshop FREE. This is for fall 2021 workshops starting in August. Hopefully you received notification on how to do this. If you missed it, let us know: info@bluethumb.org

Workshop Schedule


Pursuing the Cosmos with Youth and Owls

A personal essay: an environmental educator recounts a day as a state park staff member hosting a student field trip. He considers how we can bring vastly differing experiences to our relationship with the environment.

Read the blog post


Evolution of a Yard: Conventional Turf to All Native Plants

This project replaced a conventional turf yard with native plants, including a sedge lawn and pollinator gardens. A grant from the state Board of Water and Soil Resources’ Lawns to Legumes program played a part in the transformation.

Read the Blog Post

What Is Blue Thumb?

Want to help protect our water? The Blue Thumb—Planting for Clean Water® program can help. Blue Thumb is a public/private partnership that promotes ecologically functional landscapes – like native plants, raingardens, and shoreline stabilization projects – to reduce runoff and improve water quality. Blue Thumb makes it easy for you to plan, purchase and plant beautiful native plants in your own yard. Interested in planning a clean water project? Blue Thumb is coordinated by the nonprofit Metro Blooms and extends throughout the state.

Learn More

Why Plant for Clean Water?

Planting for clean water is part of the solution to water pollution. Stormwater runoff is the number one threat to our water quality according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Pollutants from our lawns and streets – vehicle emissions, oil residue, grass clippings, pesticides, leaves, and pet waste – are swept away by rainwater runoff to our lakes and streams by way of storm drains causing water pollution. Using water-friendly landscaping like native plants, raingardens, and shoreline stabilization helps minimize runoff and helps keep our water clean.

Why Plant for Pollinators?

We are seeing declining populations of bees, butterflies and other pollinators. This includes the rusty patched bumble bee — Minnesota’s state bee and an endangered species. We can help solve this problem by creating habitat in our yards, from pockets of native plantings to flowering bee lawns and meadows. Creating pollinator habitat also has other benefits, including supporting agriculture, contributing to clean water, capturing carbon and generally contributing to a healthier ecosystem.

Who Is A Blue Thumb Partner?

Blue Thumb Finest on EarthPartners have the expertise to help residents with the design, installation, materials, maintenance and/or funding of their planting for clean water projects. Our partners include watershed districts, conservation districts, cities and counties, nonprofit organizations, and private businesses such as native plant nurseries, landscape designers and installers, equipment and material suppliers, and other companies that are working toward Blue Thumb – Planting for Clean Water® goals. Want to become a Blue Thumb partner?

Learn More

Support from these partners helps us work towards resilient landscapes

Landscape restoration services and locally grown native seed and plants

mnnativelandscapes.com

 

Turning technology into tangible business value

westmonroe.com

Permeable pavement systems to solve flooding and protect clean water

pavedrain.com

Trio Landscaping

Sustainable design that fits your lifestyle by providing consultation, design, and project management

triolandscaping.com

 

Home of the bee lawn mix

twincityseed.com

Your locally owned and operated equipment rental resource

reddyrents.com


Blue Thumb Partners