In the fall of 2014 Metro Blooms worked with some great community members just to the west of Lake Nokomis to install the first ever “Blooming Alley” in Minneapolis. Since then, the idea has caught on like wildfire. We’re expanding the project around Lake Nokomis to another 15 alleys and the Lynnhurst neighborhood and neighborhoods surrounding Diamond Lake are starting their own Blooming Alleys projects. This means that over the next 3 years we’ll get to work with 260+ property owners to transform the look and function of 25 alleyways. Together these alleys create a 6-mile long corridor along Minnehaha Creek. Wondering what the heck Blooming Alleys is? Check out the demonstration for more info.
With all of this work ahead of us, we would never be able to accomplish it all without some great partnerships. But who will we work with? Who will do what? What are all of the roles that need to be filled? What do these communities care most about? To answer these questions, we worked with Peggy Knapp of the Freshwater Society to lead us and all of our current and potential Blooming Alleys partners through a series of discussions to get us the information we needed.
We invited about 60 Master Water Stewards, block leaders, Master Gardeners, landscape designers, and community partners to this meeting. It was very successful, with lots of discussion between a variety of partners (and we thank them all so much for their time and input!). We left the meeting with about 30 large post-its filled with everyone’s notes. Since then, our intern, Saif, has transcribed all of those into a 14 page word document. I can tell you from first glance, it’s so much great information! We’ll be analyzing all of this data over the next few days to pull out the patterns that emerge across the conversations and within each conversation. This will tell us what’s most important to everyone in this process.
We’ll share that information with everyone that wants it and then use it to define and assign clear roles for all partners. It will also provide us with information about how to market these projects and the resources we need to provide to make them successful. Again, thank you to everyone who participated. We look forward to sharing the results!