Partnership Information

How Blue Thumb Partnership Works

The Blue Thumb Partnership is a network of clean water and native plant stewards creating change by bridging the gap between knowledge and action by offering resources and programs to Minnesotan residents. On our website you’ll find resources on native plants, designers to consult on a landscape renovation, where to buy seed and native plants, or grants to help pay for pollinator projects. We also meet the public through popular DIY workshops and exhibits at the Minnesota State Fair and other events in the Twin Cities Metro.

General Partner Benefits

Website: Resources for All

Our website is a one-stop source for individuals looking to learn more about planting for clean water and pollinators. It includes a plant finder tool, DIY resources and videos, grant opportunities, clean water and pollinator events, and a partner finder tool that connect gardeners with Blue Thumb partners.

Education, Outreach, and Marketing Expertise

We help shape the conversation about planting for clean water! Through our social media, website, resources, presence at events, and workshops, we call attention to:

  • the problem of runoff and actions that people can take to address it
  • clean water news and events
  • the efforts of our Blue Thumb partners
  • how to plant for pollinators
  • how to create a more resilient yard
  • the importance of native plants, trees, and shrubs

Partners also receive marketing support through their logo and brand exposure on our website, resources, and materials. Our signage, displays, and handouts are available for partners to use at events and presentations.

Professional Development and Networking

Blue Thumb Partners are part of a robust and diverse network. Partner meetings provide opportunities for hands-on professional development on timely topics such as turf alternatives,  stormwater benefits of trees, clean water communication, and planting to protect pollinators. Partners gain a credible peer support network and expertise.

Become a Blue Thumb Partner


Flower faces on a stick at MN state fair

Long roots display

Value to Private Partners

  • Access to home gardeners through our Blue Thumb workshops: Workshop attendees receive a folder with partner materials and also meet with partner landscape designers to talk about their properties.
  • Expanded reach from our website to thousands of MN residents through the statewide Lawns to Legumes program.
  • Presence on our online partner finder tool which refers thousands of website visitors each year.
  • Our presence at the Minnesota State Fair and other events presents opportunities to meet potential clients interested in creating ecologically resilient landscapes.
  • Blue Thumb helps highlight companies that have an environmental focus and clean-water expertise.
  • Training and workshops for partners and their communities.
  • Peer support and expertise.
  • Educational materials such as plant lists, how-to guides, and design templates.

Value to Public Partners

  • Access to informational handouts, displays, and other materials for education and outreach.
  • Blue Thumb workshops for residents help reach MS4 permitting requirements and educational goals, are demonstrated to help attendees convert knowledge into action.
  • Blue Thumb’s online partner finder tool: refer residents here, avoiding favoritism when they ask for business recommendations.
  • Extra help publicizing clean water events, programs, activities and other ways to get involved.
  • Training and workshops for partners and their communities.
  • Peer support and expertise.
  • Educational materials such as plant lists, how-to guides, and design templates.

Offset Partner Fees Through Volunteering

Our fee structure will ensure that the Blue Thumb program is able to achieve our vision and offer the benefits outlined above. Members may fulfill up to 50% (max $500) of fees with volunteer action hours or in-kind contributions. Nonprofits and volunteer-led organizations can fulfill 100% of their fee through volunteer hours. Each action hour is counted as a $50 contribution. “Volunteer action hours” are limited to defined activities as listed on the following page. Any unfulfilled volunteer hours will be invoiced at year end. Of course, your volunteer involvement is encouraged whether or not you provide the full cash contribution to the program. See the Partner Agreement for more information. To get the most out of our partnership, see this graphic.

Become a Blue Thumb Partner


Blue Thumb Sponsorship

Consider sponsoring Blue Thumb. You would be supporting our educational programming, including our workshops and our sustainable landcare training program. This is an opportunity to share share your brand presence in our communications.

Learn more

Partner Resources

Blue Thumb Partners are encouraged to take advantage of Blue Thumb’s downloadable educational resources. For more handouts, guides, and plant lists, visit our Resources Page.