Register Now for Rain Garden Workshops

April 8, 2007 - Now in it's third year, Minneapolis/Metro Blooms is again providing rain garden workshops to Minneapolis residents. They still have available spaces for many of the scheduled workshops. Among other topics, the Minneapolis workshops will provide information about the City's rain barrel program and how to install the rain barrels offered through the program.

Rain gardens allow rain and melting snow to seep naturally into the ground. This helps recharge aquifers and keeps contaminated water out of the watershed, helps landowners limit the amount of water needed for watering, and reduces water bills.

The Rain Garden Workshops Program brings together a well-respected landscape ecologist Rusty Schmidt, landscape design and horticultural professionals, Master Gardeners, an individual coaching session, on-site consultations, cash match reimbursement grants for native plants, as well as special native plant sales.

The five-part workshop program teaches homeowners and businesses about how to design and plant rain gardens; and to use our Minnesota native plants to beautify our neighborhoods and communities to attract birds and butterflies. The program offers landowners 1) a rain garden education, 2) the technical and design support both in the classroom and 3) on-site consultations, 4) sources for the native plants needed and 5) a cash reimbursement grant for native plants, providing an incentive to a homeowner to install a rain garden in one planting season.

For easy online registration for Rain Garden Workshops go to www.MetroBlooms.org

Metro Blooms is a 20 year old nonprofit that that has been helping our community's gardeners grow beautiful landscapes and create water quality since 1987.

The first workshop in the series is a two-hour, large-group Education Workshop (Part A) that costs $15 and will teach landowners how to install a rain garden, and give all attendees a do-it-yourself method. Easy online advance registration is required and Rusty Schmidt, a Minneapolis landscape ecologist, is the key presenter. He has designed and maintained a wide range of rain gardens and bio-retention areas throughout the US. With Dan Shaw, he's authored Plants for Stormwater Design, now in its fourth printing.

Area homeowners may also sign up online for a follow-up Coaching Seminar (Part B). For this small-group, two-hour seminar, residents bring their own rain garden plans and questions, and receive professional advice from landscape design assistants and master gardeners. Find out which plants will thrive in the sun or shade of your garden, or get help designing your rain garden to fit your conditions. Attending Part A is a prerequisite.

Native Plant Reimbursement grants of $65 for installing native plants are available on a first-come, first-served basis to participants with the submission of an application and receipts. The Native Plant Grant Reimbursement program has been made available by the Hennepin County NRICH (Natural Resources Incentives for Critical Habitat) Program.

Lastly one-hour on-site consultations on a participant's property may be scheduled with Metro Blooms Landscape Design Assistants after April 15, 2007, at a low cost. In addition, this year, three special native plant sales are available to all participants. Details are available online.

Rain Garden Workshops are sponsored by Metro/Minneapolis Blooms Program, Minneapolis Public Works Department Stormwater Education Fund, the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, Hennepin County Environmental Services, and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.

Minneapolis residents are encouraged to register early to ensure a place. Metro Blooms also asks that you help it's limited staff by registering online. Or send a $15 check or money order payable to Metro Blooms to: Pat Gill, 2223 7th St. NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418. (612-673-3014). Your mailed registration must include your name, address and zip code, phone number with area code, e-mail address (if available) and the workshop number (#A1 - #A10) that you wish to attend. Space is limited so register early.

For information: www.MetroBlooms.org or
Contact: pat@metroblooms.org



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