About Us

Our Mission

Metro Blooms’ mission is to promote and celebrate gardening, to beautify our communities and help heal and protect our environment.

Our Goals

We are a private nonprofit volunteer-based educational organization which seeks to partner with other organizations, businesses, professional associations, local governments and watershed districts to promote environmentally sound gardening and landscaping practices to improve the health of our land and water resources.

History of the Organization

Our original program, Blooming Boulevards, grew out of the Committee on Urban Environment (CUE), established by the Minneapolis City Council in 1968. The private nonprofit organization Friends of CUE was established and received its IRS 501(c)3 status in 1979.  Blooming Boulevards' efforts to promote and recognize boulevard gardens began in 1983 under the leadership of CUE member Nate Siegel.  Mr. Siegel was so impressed with the beautiful boulevard flower gardens on a visit to Vancouver, B.C., that he started a similar program to beautify Minneapolis.

After city funds which supported the Blooming Boulevards program were eliminated due to City of Minneapolis budget cuts in 2002, our nonprofit status as Friends of CUE enabled us to get donations and grants to help carry on our mission of promoting and celebrating Minneapolis gardens.

In 2003, the name of the program was changed to Minneapolis Blooms to reflect the broader scope of our work, since all publicly visible Minneapolis gardens were encouraged and recognized – those in front and side yards, back yards seen from the alley, as well as boulevard gardens.  To this day, nominated gardens are reviewed each year by trained volunteer garden evaluators and are presented with a Minneapolis Garden Award.

In 2005, Minneapolis Blooms formed partnerships with several watershed districts to take the lead in educating the gardening community to become active stewards of our water resources.  Minneapolis Blooms developed and conducted an innovative series of Rain Garden Workshops in 2005 to inform, coach and offer on-site consultations to Minneapolis residents to encourage the installation on their property of rain gardens with native plants to keep rainwater on-site and prevent polluted water runoff, thus protecting our water resources.

The goals of our rain garden workshops are 1) to protect our Upper Mississippi Watershed by reducing rain water runoff; and 2) to educate and encourage homeowners and businesses to install rain gardens with native plants, which thrive without pesticides or fertilizer.  We emphasize the importance of watershed-friendly and organic gardening to improve the quality of life in our urban neighborhoods.

Public demand for our Rain Garden Education Program from many communities throughout the Twin Cities metropolitan area has grown dramatically since its inception in 2005. Waiting lists for our Rain Garden Workshops and attendance from residents of many suburban cities attested to the need for more rain garden workshops, so in 2006 Minneapolis Blooms began implementing a three-year plan of sustainable growth. In 2007, we began conducting rain garden workshops in several western suburbs of Minneapolis.

Metro Blooms

On December 5, 2007, Minneapolis Blooms officially changed its name to Metro Blooms, when the Restated Articles of Incorporation for Friends of CUE (changing our nonprofit corporation's name) was filed with the Minnesota Secretary of State. The name change occurred to show our new commitment to eco-friendly gardening education for the residents of not only Minneapolis, but the entire Twin Cities metropolitan area.

In 2008, with sixteen rain garden workshops taking place from Minneapolis to Savage, and Maple Grove to North St. Paul, we hope to teach Twin Cities area residents the value of installing a rain garden to preserve water quality, to beautify our communities and to help heal and protect our environment.

Today Metro Blooms is proud to attest to the fact that more than 2,500 people have attended our Rain Garden Workshops.  A 2007 survey of all participants to date showed that a remarkable 80% either installed, are working on installing, or plan to install a rain garden.  We know that more than 400 rain gardens have already been installed in the Twin Cities metropolitan area as of September 2007, which points to the progress we are making in improving the water quality of our cherished lakes, rivers and streams, while beautifying our communities at the same time.