Blue Thumb is a public/private partnership of public institutions (cities, watershed and conservation districts, etc.), non-profit organizations, and private companies (nurseries, landscape designers and contractors, etc.) all sharing the same goal: planting for clean water. This includes helping people install turf alternatives, native plants, raingardens and shoreline stabilization projects to reduce runoff, improve water quality and increase wildlife and pollinator habitat.
Together, we engage communities, informing behavior change and bridging the gap between knowledge and action. We lead the way in changing landscaping norms among professionals and property owners.
How Blue Thumb Works
Blue Thumb is a resource-sharing, informational hub connecting public partners, private partners and the general public with each other. Our website provides a wealth of information to property owners, from those looking for DIY instructions to those who want professional help on their properties. We also host popular workshops and exhibit at relevant events in the Twin Cities metro area and beyond. Blue Thumb partners can use our own and many partner-developed materials, including educational displays, pamphlets and handouts for print. We connect our partners — private and public — with property owners to help them achieve the ecologically resilient landscape of their dreams.
Blue Thumb offers…
- Partnerships with 50+ organizations including cities, water governing bodies, private businesses and non-profits
- Access to professional displays and educational materials to distribute to property owners
- Opportunities to network with like-minded professionals
- Trusted native plant nurseries and landscape contractors
- Website with popular native plant selector tool and partner finder tool
- Workshops for residents on timely topics including raingardens, resilient yards and turf alternatives
- Train-the-Trainer workshops for professionals and staff on partner-directed subjects like maintenance
General Partner Benefits
Website: A One-Stop Source:
- bluethumb.org is a one-stop source for property owners looking to learn more about planting for clean water. It includes a plant finder tool, DIY instructions and videos, grant opportunities, clean water and pollinator events, and a partner finder tool that connect people with Blue Thumb partners who can help them.
Education, Outreach and Marketing Expertise:
- Blue Thumb uses its large and growing presence on social media, through website traffic, and at events and workshops to call attention to: the problem of runoff and actions that people can take to address it; clean water news and events; and the efforts of our Blue Thumb partners. We are helping shape the conversation about planting for clean water.
Professional Development and Networking:
- Blue Thumb Partners are part of a robust and diverse network of like-minded organizations and professionals. They receive hands-on professional development at partner meetings on timely topics such as turf alternatives, stormwater benefits of trees, clean water communication and planting to protect pollinators.