Spring is fast approaching now that February is here. Spring forward on planning eco-friendly gardens and landscape projects to improve Bloomington’s neighborhoods and community. Environmental stewardship grants are available to help fund projects that protect and improve natural resources.
The goals of the grants are to provide general support to:
Preserve, protect and restore native ecosystems with native plantings or addition of wildlife habitat.
Improve water quality by reducing the amount of nutrients and sediments flowing into lakes, streams, wetlands and rivers.
Increase the capacity of the watershed to store or infiltrate water.
While the rain garden has become a symbol of urban natural resource restoration, there are other ways to improve local ecological health. Meadow lawns, pond buffers, rainwater reuse and other projects can make positive environmental impacts. Your eco-friendly garden and landscape will promote environmental stewardship, provide habitat for pollinators and wildlife, improve air quality and build soil structure.
Cost share programs provide funding which residents match. Typically, grants are awarded to cover up to 50 – 75% of a project’s cost for professional consultation, engineering, labor and materials.
“The grants offer a funding source for residents who are interested in some local, small-scale environmental projects, like rain gardens, meadow lawns or pollinator gardens,” Water Resources Specialist Jack Distel said. “While each grant is slightly different, they are sources of money that help residents get their project ideas off the drawing board and onto the ground.”
Watershed district grants are available to residents, associations, nonprofits, schools and businesses within the respective district. To find which watershed district you live in and related links, visit blm.mn/watershed. A list of grants available can be found at blm.mn/rain-gardens. Contact Engineering with questions at 952-563-8748.