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Attend free rain garden workshop Thursday in Cloquet

Would you like to beautify your yard with showstopping flower blooms and grasses while protecting our lakes, streams, attracting songbirds, hummingbirds, and beneficial pollinators like bees and butterflies?

If you said yes, we encourage you to think about installing a pollinator rain garden on your property. A pollinator rain garden is a small, depressional garden that collects rainwater from your roof, lawn, driveway, and other impervious surfaces before it ends up in our groundwater, storm sewers, nearby streams, and lakes. Rain gardens are designed to drain within 48 hours and include a diversity of deep-rooted, show stopping native flowers, grasses, and shrubs.

These plants are selected for beautiful blooms spring, summer, and fall to provide critical habitat and food sources for our bees, butterflies, songbirds, and many other types of wildlife. Not to mention, they are aesthetically pleasing, low-cost, and low maintenance. Pollinator raingardens do not require fertilizing, regular mowing, or irrigation, and have a positive effect on the soil. Their extensive fibrous root systems, which can grow down to 15 feet, reduce erosion, restore soil health, and filter runoff before it enters streams, lakes, and groundwater.

If this interests you but you don't know where to start, there's still time to attend a free rain garden workshop. The first workshop is 6-7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22 at the Cloquet Public Library; the second workshop runs 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 5 at Hermantown City Hall.

Instructors will teach you step-by-step instructions on planning, designing, and maintaining a rain garden. Plus, Carlton and South St. Louis SWCD staff will be available to schedule a free site visit with you. Even better, they have funds to help cover up to $500 of your project!

The goal is to help Carlton and St. Louis County residents protect and restore our great state's natural resources. Do your part and keep our lakes and streams healthy. Even the smallest project helps our water quality, bees, birds, and butterflies.

To register, visit carltonswcd.org/events. You can also call or email Carlton SWCD Conservation Specialist Alyssa Bloss at 218-384-3891 or [email protected] to register, schedule a site visit, or relay any questions.

Oh, and keep an eye out for the launch of our famous Native Plant Kit and Seed Mix Sale starting Feb. 19 at carltonswcd.org

To find out more, contact Alyssa Bloss, conservation specialist with the Carlton SWCD at 218-384-3891, or email [email protected].

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