Good Neighbor News - March 2020 - Yard Care Tips, Grant Opportunities, and More

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Mississippi Watershed Management Organization


A woman and a young girl pose with an Adopt-A-Drain sign.

Image: Clean Water Minnesota

Good Neighbors of the Month:

Minnesota Stormdrain Adopters

Minneapolis resident Mandy LaBreche recently moved back to her home state after four years in southern California. She was drawn to her new neighborhood largely because of its close proximity to lakes and Minnehaha Creek. When she heard about the Adopt-a-Drain program through a friend’s Facebook post, signing up seemed like a no-brainer. She says, “Minneapolis has such incredible natural resources. Adopting a drain is a really easy way to have an impact and show that you care for the environment we live in.”

Mandy is one of thousands of Twin Cities metro area residents who have collectively adopted more than 10,000 stormdrains and have kept more than 94 tons of leaves, trash and other debris out of Minnesota waterbodies. Whether you have a yard or not, if you want to do your part to protect our rivers, lakes and wetlands from pollution, the simplest and most direct action you can take is to sign up for the Adopt-A-Drain program.

Read Mandy's story at

Good Neighbor Tips

Help Protect Pollinators by Holding Off on Your Spring Garden Cleanup Activities

A raindrop yard sign in a raingarden.

To the casual observer, a garden in early spring might not look too impressive: bunches of dead plant stalks and flowers bent over a soggy mat of fallen leaves. But there’s a lot going on beneath the surface of these seemingly lifeless landscapes.

In fact, during the winter our seemingly “dead” yards and gardens play host to an unseen world of pollinating insects. These adaptable creatures survive the cold by entering a dormant state called diapause (similar to hibernation). As longer days and warmer temperatures arrive, they emerge from their various hiding places — under leaves, in hollow plant stems, and underground — and begin their critically important work of preserving our food chain.

With a mild and inviting spring now upon us — and with many people essentially homebound because of COVID-19 — some might be tempted to get an early start on their spring garden cleanup. Don’t do it! Mother Nature needs you to leave your garden nice and messy for just a little longer. Visit our blog for an explanation of why, along with our four tips for a healthy, eco-friendly spring yard.

Read the Full Blog Post

MWMO Responds to COVID-19 with Operational Changes

MWMO sign sculpture at night.

Like many organizations, the MWMO is making a number of changes in response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. All public meetings at our facility have been canceled through at least April 10, and MWMO staff have been directed to avoid in-person meetings when possible. 

Preserving the health of the public and our employees is our top priority. Read our full statement on COVID-19.

Upcoming Events

Online Smart Salting and Turfgrass Maintenance Training

(Various Dates)

The MWMO and other agencies partner with Fortin Consulting to deliver professional land-care training for both winter (smart salting) and summer (turfgrass) maintenance. These free classes help maintenance professionals save money and reduce pollution by implementing eco-friendly practices. Those who successfully complete a training session can also receive a voluntary certification from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all upcoming training workshops have been moved online. This means even more people can participate! Visit Fortin Consulting's training calendar for a list of upcoming training opportunities and instructions on how to register.