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Meet Metro Blooms, one of our 2014 Give Green partners
About Metro Blooms: They are a nonprofit, volunteer-based educational organization that promotes environmentally sound gardening and landscaping practices to improve the health of our land and water resources. One of their areas of expertise is Raingarden education and installation. Raingardens help reduce the amount of storm water runoff that would otherwise carry pollutants into our lakes, rivers, and wetlands.
How to get involved: There are several ways to get involved in the mission and activities of Metro Blooms.
Metro Blooms History: Metro Blooms started as Blooming Boulevards and was established by the Minneapolis City Council in 1968. The focus of this first iteration of the group was to promote and recognize boulevard gardens. Minneapolis City funds to support Blooming Boulevards were cut in 2002, however the group was strong enough to continue as its own entity. In 2003, the organization took on the new name Minneapolis Blooms in an effort to show that their focus was on all publicly visible Minneapolis gardens, not just those in found in boulevards.
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 Raingarden Workshops in 2005 to inform, coach and offer on-site consultations to Minneapolis residents to encourage Raingarden installation on their property. In 2007, Minneapolis Blooms changed its name to Metro Blooms to show their commitment to eco-friendly gardening education for residents across the Twin Cities.
Since 2005, Metro Blooms’ Raingarden workshops have been attended by over 4,400 people, 80% of whom have installed or are currently installing a Raingarden. Check out his great map of all the Raingardens they’ve been a part of since 2007.
Check out our website to learn more about our Give Green Program and our amazing 2014 non-profits.
According to the weather people, we are supposed to get our first snow storm tonight/tomorrow. Every year at this time, I amaze myself by being absolutely clueless about what to do when the first storm comes. I am the person you hate on your commute home because I look like I’ve never seen, let alone driven in snow. (Advanced apologies to all of you.) For someone who has lived in cold weather states her whole life, I feel like a newbie every year. If you are like me, or just want to brush up on your winter protocol, check out the City of Minneapolis website and read up on what you need to do in the event of a snow emergency. There is even a Snow Emergency app you can download to keep you up on the daily requirements of the city. While you’re looking around the City website, brush up on the snow shoveling requirements. Homeowners are required to shovel within 24 hours of the snow fall ending. For commercial and apartment buildings, the time allowance is shortened to 4 daytime hours. Not doing this will guarantee you angry neighbors, but could also get you a fine from the city.
Heating your home in the winter can be an expensive proposition, but there are things we can do to make the financial burden a little lighter:
· Insulate your windows: For a reasonable price, you can pick up the plastic insulation sheets at your local hardware store. Put them on any window lets in the cold.
· Get a home energy audit: This can help you zero in on the areas of your home that are letting out the most heat and can help you put together a plan to address those areas.
· Be unconventional: There are ways to produce heat that don’t fit neatly into the Xcel/Centerpoint model. Check out this article about heating your home with flower pots and tea lights.
· Fireplace: If you have a fireplace in your home, use it in the evenings and try to keep all your activities in the range of its heat. Move your dining room table next to the fire, or have a romantic picnic next to the hearth.
· More clothes: Growing up, this was my parents’ favorite remedy for the cold….put on another sweatshirt/sweater.
Have you heard that we might get a winter storm tomorrow? Gross! I don’t know about you, but this news made me panic. Check out this list of things to do before the ground is buried for good.
1. Rake up the leaves in your yard and give it one last mowing. This will make sure your grass isn’t smothered over the winter and will be ready to start growing again when spring comes. Continue running the lawn mower until it is out of gas. If there is gas left in the motor over the winter, it can gum up the carburetor. (That’s at least what the interwebs say, I know nothing about gummy carburetors.)
Have you ever wanted to create a photo frame wall collage? It’s easier than you think!
You should be sure to do a bit of prep work before hammering the nails into the wall. Follow these steps to ensure you get it right the first time:
Trace the frames onto newspapers or grocery store bags. Then cut out the paper so it’s the same size as the frames.
Then arrange and tape the paper on the wall where you want the frames to go.
After the paper stencils are arranged on the wall how you like them, then hammer nails through the paper stencils into the wall.