MWMO Newsletter - September 2021 - Project Updates, Fall Yard Care Tips, Training Opportunities and More

Trouble viewing this email? Click here to view in browser.

Mississippi Watershed Management Organization


A worker watering plants from an ATV.

Making Green Infrastructure Work: Lessons Learned from Towerside’s District Stormwater System

This summer, as drought ravaged the state and many cities imposed watering restrictions, the stormwater reuse system at the Towerside Innovation District kept the area's vegetation lush and green. 

In June and July, it distributed approximately 100,000 gallons of water to the area's gardens and boulevard plantings, which are specially designed for stormwater treatment and wildlife habitat.

Check out our new blog post, in which we discuss the lessons learned and the challenges overcome by the partners who put this one-of-a-kind district stormwater system to work.

Find Out More

How and Why to Plant in the Fall (with Video)

Fall Planting Video Thumbnail

Fall is a great time to plant new perennial plants, shrubs, and trees in your yard.

Plants send their energy into their root systems in the fall, so fall planting gives new plants an improved chance of popping back and thriving the following spring.

In our latest blog post and accompanying video, we cover all the basics of fall planting, including: how to choose a location; light, water, and soil considerations; and the step-by-step process of planting a new perennial in your yard.

We encourage planting native plants because of their stormwater and habitat benefits. You can lean more about native plants and find a list of growers on our native plants page.

MWMO Awards Funding to New Projects in Minneapolis and Columbia Heights

Mississippi River Gorge in fall colors.

The MWMO recently awarded two new grants for capital projects in Columbia Heights and Minneapolis:

  • A $131,800 grant to the City of Columbia Heights will fund a snowmelt system at city hall to reduce the need for deicing chemicals.
  • A $200,000 grant to Seward Redesign, Inc., will help fund a rooftop farm operation that uses recycled stormwater runoff for irrigation.

Read the full details in our news release.

Upcoming Grant Application Deadlines

Capital Project Grants — Due Friday, October 29, 2021
Action Grants — Due Friday, November 5, 2021
Community Grants — Due Friday, December 3, 2021

Church Community Rallies for Raingarden Project

A rock swale at University Baptist Church.

University Baptist Church installed a series of native plant-filled raingardens, rock swales and channel drains on their grounds earlier this month with help from a pair of MWMO Stewardship Fund Grants.

The project solved a number of drainage issues at the century-old church, in addition to adding pollinator habitat and treating dirty stormwater runoff. (See our project page.)

Church members threw themselves into the project enthusiastically, helping with the planning and planting as well as education and outreach efforts. Metro Blooms led the design and construction, supported by Helping Hand Companies. Several local partner organizations also participated.

The church is hosting a tour of its new landscape on Sunday, October 17. Minnesota Water Steward Barb Patterson, who helped organize and drive the project, will lead the tour.

Upcoming Events

Weaving Water thumbnail image.

Weaving Water Kickoff Workshop

October 16, 2021 , 10 a.m. – Noon

Weaving Water is a project that seeks to engage the public in community building through craft and connection with water. Artist and botanist Sarah Nassif will connect community members with the Mississippi River watershed through a series of hands-on fiber art workshops that will pose the question, “Where am I within the system?” Details and Registration

A snow plow truck.

MPCA Smart Salting for Parking Lots and Sidewalks

Wednesday, October 20 at 8:00 am - 1:00 pm

This MPCA Smart Salting Certification Training is an opportunity to learn more efficient winter maintenance best practices (BMPs) while taking a comprehensive look at the many aspects for managing snow and ice on parking lots and sidewalks. Details and Registration

Smart Salting for Property Managers Class

MPCA Smart Salting for Property Managers Training

Wednesday, November 17 at 9:00 am - 1:30 pm

Salt is an important and widely used public safety tool in winter maintenance. But it’s possible to reduce salt use while still maintaining a high level of safety and service! Details and Registration

Featured Project

SECIA Traffic Diverter Raingarden

SECIA traffic diverter raingarden partners.

A group of neighbors converted an overgrown traffic diverter into a raingarden in the Southeast Como Neighborhood of Minneapolis.

The diverter was one of many installed in the 1970s to calm the flow of traffic through the neighborhood. It had become overgrown and its soil was eroding into the street.

A variety of local partners collaborated on the project. The Southeast Como Improvement Association (SECIA) led the way; the MWMO supported it with a pair of Stewardship Fund Grants, and Metro Blooms led the design and construction.

More than 500,000 gallons of dirty street runoff each year will be captured and filtered by the raingarden, according to project estimates.

SECIA has even more background information on their website, including a video featuring MWMO staff.

Thank You, Mississippi River Green Team!

The 2021 Mississippi River Green Team members.

A huge thank you goes out to the Mississippi River Green Team members who put in so much hard work during a very hot and humid summer!

This year’s team worked at Theodore Wirth Regional Park and North Mississippi Regional Park removing invasive plant species and planting native plants.

Since 2008, our local ecosystems and watershed have benefited enormously from the hard work of the Green Team. Learn more about the program on our website.