Program & Events

Lawns to Legumes

Are you concerned about the fate of pollinators, especially the endangered Rusty Patched Bumble Bee, Minnesota’s official state bee?

It’s time to get pro-active! Take advantage of this opportunity to take action to increase pollinator habitat in your own yard and help clean water at the same time by adding native plants with their long roots that slow erosion, conserve water and offer habitat, nectar and pollen to threatened pollinators and other wildlife! (photo above shot by Kathy Sidles, an East St. Paul bee monitor at a wetland south of Lake Phalen).

Attend a workshop sponsored by RWMWD and Maplewood Nature Center on February 20 if you’d like to increase habitat in your yard for this endangered bee and other pollinators and learn more!  Thursday, February 20, 6:30 PM-8:00 PM, Lawns to Legumes: Your Yard Can Bee the Change, Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1390 Larpenteur Avenue East, Saint Paul, sponsored by RWMWD and Maplewood Nature Center. Register now for this free workshop by emailing Sage Passi at 

How can you support your community’s efforts to restore habitat for pollinators?
The Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) has recently launched the Lawns to Legumes Program to increase habitat for at-risk pollinators across the state. This new Lawns to Legumes grant program is made possible through an appropriation from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF).

Blue Thumb, “Planting for Clean Water and Pollinators,” a program of Metro Blooms, is administering this Lawns to Legumes $350 residential grant program. All Minnesota residents are eligible to apply for a $350 cost-share grant to establish pollinator habitat in their yards. Applications will be selected through a randomized drawing, although priority will be given to projects within higher priority areas and to insure a fair geographical distribution of grantees. The Twin Cities metro area is, in general, a high priority area in the state, although there are several other high priority areas identified around the state of Minnesota. The Board of Water and Soil Resources is also administering a neighborhood demonstration grant program.

Lawns to Legumes Link

  1. Public Programs
  2. Organized Groups
  3. Self-Guided Groups

All March and most April Nature Center Public Programs have been cancelled:

In order to keep the public and employees safe from the COVID-19 The City of Maplewood has closed all public buildings through the end of March. This includes the nature center. Our public programs have been cancelled as well. The trails remain open for use. Staff are monitoring messages and taking phone calls. Thank you for your patience, please check the city of Maplewood webpage for more information.Nature programs are offered for adults, families and youth. These take place at the Nature Center, Neighborhood Preserves, local libraries, or other public venues. Many public programs are free, others have a small charge.

Citywide Programs

Naturalists coordinate with other city departments on citywide environmental initiatives such as:

  • Buckthorn removal
  • Citizen Science Monitoring and more
  • Edgerton Community Gardens
  • Watershed Education