Mission: Metro Blooms partners with communities to create resilient landscapes and foster clean watersheds, embracing the values of equity and inclusion to solve environmental challenges.
Vision: Engage communities to create resilient landscapes.
Equity: At Metro Blooms, we work to create the conditions for all of a community’s members to be meaningfully involved in environmental improvement projects protecting clean water and habitat. We carry out our work using principles of equitable engagement and environmental justice so that those most impacted have the opportunity to take part in the decision-making. We intentionally reach out in under-served communities that include – but are not limited to – people of color, lower-income neighborhoods and affordable housing communities
Metro Blooms grew out of a volunteer-powered garden recognition program, the Minneapolis Garden Awards program, which was first established by the City of Minneapolis’ Committee on the Urban Environment (CUE). Between 1979 and 2016, hundreds of trained volunteer evaluators visited thousands of gardens, every year recognizing and celebrating excellence, and inspiring a proud culture of gardening in the city. Over time, we became a nonprofit to secure ongoing support and funding for the program; the Friends of CUE transitioned to Minneapolis Blooms; and finally, in 2008, we became Metro Blooms.
Metro Blooms is committed to environmental justice, and we equitably engage communities where we work to ensure that residents are involved in decision-making and benefit most from environmental improvement projects. Our North Minneapolis pollinator projects engage with residents to install native plants in their yards and in container plantings for apartment communities. We also work collaboratively with residents in rental communities to redesign their shared landscape, creating a more resilient and inviting outdoors that adds to their quality of life.
We offer programs in Sustainable Landcare Training to teach employable skills in caring for raingardens and resilient landscapes. This training provides pathways to job opportunities in the green economy, including jobs with our own sustainable landcare crew, which we launched in 2019.
Our programs and work have shifted significantly throughout the past 40 years. We continue to learn with our community to implement responsive and equitable programming, and to beautify and create resilient landscapes in our communities. Our education programs have expanded our reach since transitioning to virtual workshops; we have also expanded our train the trainer experiences for employees of watershed districts, local governments and community groups statewide.
Milestones include Blue Thumb – Planting for Clean Water, Lawns to Legumes, Metro Blooms Design + Build.
In May 2015, Metro Blooms began managing the Blue Thumb – Planting for Clean Water® program. A public-private partnership that promotes native plants, raingardens, and shoreline stabilizations to improve water quality, Blue Thumb was originally created by Rice Creek Watershed District as an innovative approach to help residents find the information and help they needed to reduce runoff in their yards.
Lawns to Legumes
In 2019, Blue Thumb was selected by the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources to manage the individual application process for their Lawns to Legumes program, providing grants and other support to Minnesota residents to protect pollinators by creating habitat in their yards.
Metro Blooms Design + Build
In 2021, our design team officially became Metro Blooms Design + Build, a for-profit wholly owned by the Metro Blooms non-profit, to focus on design, installation and maintenance services. Metro Blooms Design + Build is grounded in the vision and values of Metro Blooms and wholly supports our mission.
Board Priorities include membership with a majority members including previously under-represented groups to better represent the communities with whom we work.
STRATEGIC AREAS OF FOCUS represented in our Metro Blooms Strategic Plan 2-22-2025:
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – Throughout the Board and Organization
- Partnerships in Community –Strong Interconnected Partnerships
- Education and Community Resources
- Design + Build for Healthy Resilient Lands and Water
- Community Relations, Engagement, and Inspiration
- Financial Sustainability and Accountability
- Organizational Identities and Interconnections
- Broaden Geographic Reach
For more information about our strategic plan and work visit: https://metroblooms.org/publications/
Annual Budget: $1.9 million – Earned Income, Individual Contributions, Government Grants or Contracts
You are committed to Metro Blooms’ mission, vision, and values and have a desire to engage in change through community partnerships. The Board is looking for members who have experience in the following areas:
- Connections within diverse communities
- Legal (work with non-profits or LLCs preferred)
- Accounting (CPA desired)
- Organizational/Management leadership skills
The benefits of serving on our Board include professional leadership development; meaningfully interacting with community members to create healthier outdoor spaces that benefit people, pollinators and clean water; serving environmental justice communities; and collaborating with many partners and organizations in Minnesota.
- Number of members currently: 8
- Number of members needed: 4
- Meeting time and frequency: 12 meetings a year
- Meeting location: Minneapolis
As a Board member, you will be expected to:
- Know the organization’s mission and programs; serve as an ambassador to the community.
- Commit to a two-year term, with the option to extend.
- Attend regular Board meetings, via Zoom, scheduled for 6:15–8:30 pm on the third Wednesday of each month. Three consecutive unexcused absences are considered a resignation.
- Exercise fiduciary responsibility to ensure the organization’s financial health and ethical oversight to assure integrity. See 2021 annual report.
- Serve on two Board committees: Finance, Governance, Nominating, Bylaws/Strategic Planning, or Fund Development. Committees meet separately from regular Board meetings.
- Actively participate in fundraising to support Metro Blooms and commit to making a financial donation as you are able.