Washburn Tot Lot Pollinator Garden

Washburn Tot Lot Pollinator Garden

The ANA Green Team brought two new pollinator gardens to life at the Washburn Tot Lot this spring!  The new gardens were installed along the alley in May to provide a safe, beautiful barrier that will benefit our local pollinators like the endangered rusty patched bumblebee.

Our pollinator garden project was recently featured on WCCO – check it out here!

Volunteers Needed to Water the Garden

Our community’s dream of a pollinator garden at the Washburn Tot Lot is HERE! Can you help nurture the new gardens this summer?

We’re also looking for volunteers to adopt two weeks of watering and weeding at the garden throughout the summer and early fall with a buddy. 

Armatage Elementary School students volunteer with U of M Extension educators and Armatage Neighborhood Association members to plant two pollinator gardens in Washburn Ave. Totlot.

Spring Planting Days

The Green Team held two community planting days for the garden in May 2023! We are so grateful to the student and adult community members who gave their time to bring the garden to life!

The first was held in partnership with Hennepin County Master Gardeners and Armatage Elementary on May 19 where 4th and 5th graders planted so many of the new plants. Photo credit for above: Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board

The second planting day (pictured above) was with neighbors and Armatage residents to get the rest of the garden plants in the ground and watered and new bunny-proof fences installed.

Thank You, Funders!

The ANA received grant funding from both the State of Minnesota’s Lawns to Legumes Neighborhood Demonstration Program AND the Minneapolis People for Parks Foundation to fund a pollinator garden at the Washburn Tot Lot! Huge thanks to the ANA Green Team for their vision and fundraising.

Additional funds for the garden were provided by Minneapolis Parks’ park dedication fees and the Armatage Neighborhood Association!

Spring Open House Thank You

Thank you to everyone who joined the Pollinator Garden Open House on April 13!  We were so excited to see lots of neighbors at the park to hear about the project, sign up to volunteer, and enjoy free treats and bubbly water while kids played.

Fall Community Input

Thanks to everyone who gave input at our Fall Fun event on Sept 17 where we invited the community to vote on their favorite native plants and share their ideas for garden design elements. This event was shared widely through a neighborhood-wide mailing, eNews and on social media.

The favorite plants from the community event were warm-season native grasses such as Switchgrass and Prairie Dropseed. Preferred flowering natives were Bradbury’s monarda, wild bergamot, orange coneflower and purple coneflower. Durable elements like benches and a paver path were also requested based on community feedback, too.

Concept Design

Our project partner, Metro Blooms, has been hard at work crafting an initial concept design that incorporates all our community input. Please check out the initial concept design below: the new garden areas are shown in green and the purple areas are our existing play areas!

The final garden design (with plants!) was approved by the ANA and will go before the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board in April.