MWMO Newsletter - October 2021 - News, Project Updates, Grant Opportunities, Fall Yard Care and More

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Mississippi Watershed Management Organization


Pollinator Lawns Video Banner

The Easy Way to Plant a Pollinator Lawn (and Why You Might Already Have One)

Fall is a great time for planting, and that includes grass seed. But instead of just fortifying your traditional, monoculture turfgrass lawn, why not add a little diversity to your yard to help our pollinators?

Pollinators lawns, also known as bee lawns, comprise a mixture of turfgrass with a variety of low-growing, flowering plants such as Dutch white clover. They're growing in popularity as awareness spreads of the challenges facing pollinators. They also provide some benefits to homeowners, including reduced mowing needs.

We made a short video demonstrating the basics of planting a pollinator lawn in an urban yard. We also added a blog post with links to some additional resources on our website.

Find Out More

Fall Yard Care Reminders

Dead plant material in a raingarden.

1) Winterize your rainbarrels. Don't let freezing water crack your rainbarrels! Drain the water, disconnect them from the gutter downspouts, and store them away for the winter. Redirect your gutter downspout as needed.

2) Manage your leaves. Rake, mulch, or compost your fallen leaves, depending on what works best for you. Your goal should be to keep them out of the street and away from stormdrains. You can also leave some leaf litter strategically behind to serve as habitat (see #3 below).

3) Leave some habitat. Resist the urge tidy up your garden. Pollinators and other wildlife use dead leaves and plant stems as habitat during the winter, so give them space to survive until they emerge in late spring. Gardens and fenced-off areas do a good job of keeping leaves from blowing away.

Check out our full fall yard care guide and video for more.

Adopt a Stormdrain in Your Neighborhood

Adult and child cleaning a stormdrain.

Wherever you’re located in Minnesota, you can Adopt a Drain to help protect water quality.

Leaves and debris can pollute our waters when rain carries them through the storm drain system. By adopting a drain, you can help keep water clean.

If you live in Columbia Heights or Fridley, you can help your City win the Community Adopt-a-Drain Challenge! And Northeast Minneapolis neighborhood groups can claim a free Adopt-a-Drain Toolkit that can be used by the community.

Stewardship Fund Grants: Info Sessions, Application Deadlines Approaching

Volunteer helping plant raingarden.

Do you have a project idea to improve water quality and habitat? The MWMO is accepting applications for our Community, Planning, and Action Grants.

Learn how to apply for a grant from the MWMO’s Stewardship Fund and determine which grant best fits your project ideas. Join us for a free, online information session, where you can find out more about the grant program, network with others and ask questions.

Info Session Dates and Times

We're offering two identical information sessions. Choose whichever one fits your schedule!

Thursday, October 28 at 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. (via Zoom)
Details and Registration

Thursday, October 28 at 6:00 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. (via Zoom)
Details and Registration

Upcoming Grant Application Deadlines

Upcoming Events

Weaving Water: Monthly Fiber & Indigo Workshop

Weaving Water thumbnail image.

Saturday, November 13, 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

MPCA Smart Salting for Property Managers Training

A snow plow truck.

Wednesday, November 17, 9 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

Thank You to Our MWS Steering Team Members!

Minnesota Water Stewards Steering Team

The MWMO would like to extend a huge thank-you to our Minnesota Water Stewards Steering Team! 

Steering Team members routinely help with outreach events a encourage other Stewards to help out, too. Recently, they helped plan and lead neighborhood walking tours of the new Hoyer Heights Tree Trenches and represented the MWMO at Freshwater’s Annual Confluence of Stewards.

In addition to supporting our projects, they also lead efforts to learn about, install, and maintain green infrastructure in their own neighborhoods, churches, schools, and workplaces. We are truly grateful for their service to our community and the environment.

Current steering committee members are: Kristin Seaman, Laura Lee Moffett, Lennis Bentrud, and Michelle Spangler. Stewards interested in joining the steering committee should contact Abby Moore for more information.

Featured Project

North Star Community Rowing Site Stabilization

Aerial view of NSCR boat launch.

An MWMO Community Grant helped North Star Community Rowing (NSCR) stabilize steeply sloped riverbank at a new Mississippi River boat launch in North Minneapolis.

Contractors installed a blend of fescue species (narrow-leaved grasses) that will beautify and stabilize the site in preparation for a more long-term planting plan.

Located on the southern edge of the future Upper Harbor Terminal redevelopment site downstream of a heron rookery, the site helps provide inclusive public access to the Mississippi River.

You can learn more on our project page. You can enjoy some dramatic aerial photos of the project via our Flickr album.