Blooming Boulevards’ efforts to promote and recognize boulevard gardens began in 1983 under the leadership of the City of Minneapolis’ Committee on Urban Environment (CUE). Member Nate Siegel was so impressed with the beautiful boulevard flower gardens on a visit to Vancouver, B.C., that he started a similar program to beautify Minneapolis.
In 2002, Friends of CUE formed a nonprofit to enable us to secure donations and grants to help carry on our mission of promoting and celebrating Minneapolis gardens.
In 2003, the name of the program was changed to Minneapolis Blooms then Metro Blooms to reflect the broader scope of our work, since all publicly visible Minneapolis gardens were encouraged and recognized – those in front and side yards, back yards seen from the alley, as well as boulevard gardens. To this day, nominated gardens are reviewed each year by trained volunteer garden evaluators and are presented with a Minneapolis Garden Award.
In recent years, 60 – 85 volunteers have evaluated between 1000 – 2000 gardens each year, with the top awards presented at our annual Minneapolis Garden Awards in November. A special “Nate Siegel” award is presented to an outstanding gardener, who has not only beautified their own property, but also been an inspiration to others. Please make us aware of such a candidate.
This year, we’re excited to test our new mobile app called EvaluateIt! Thank you to those who have expressed a willingness to learn with us and share your feedback. You’re a true pioneer! We expect a final version to be available for all evaluators in 2014!
If you possess keen writing skills, we’re looking for volunteers to assist with the process of interviewing our top awardees and creating engaging narratives to be shared at the awards program. Additionally, if you have a good camera and a good eye, let us know if you’d like to become of one of our photographers to document these gorgeous gardens.
This effort to recognize the gardeners who beautify our city and help heal and protect our clean water could not continue with you.