Plants for Stormwater Design, Interactive Selection Tool for Stormwater Professionals and the Public

Thursday April 18, 10am - Noon

In-person at St. Anthony Falls Lab (SAFL) & Virtual on Zoom

Green infrastructure (rain gardens, bioinfiltration) requires choosing the correct plants for the site, soils, and situation. Join us for this seminar featuring the results of a recently completed research project - Plants for Stormwater Design, Interactive Selection Tool for Stormwater Professionals and the Public. The project has filled a key need to develop an online resource allowing stormwater professionals to easily choose appropriate and successful native plant species for vegetated stormwater practices in different site conditions and state regions. The project has updated the Minnesota native plant search tool Blue Thumb Plant Finder to include all generally commercially available species of native plants in the state, adds information contained in the Plants for Stormwater Design reference, and pull in other available and relevant data (drought tolerance, erosion susceptibility, etc.) where possible. The tool will be linked to vegetated stormwater practice information currently being updated in the Minnesota Stormwater Manual, a comprehensive and still-growing collection of background and design information about stormwater Best Management Practices for stormwater practitioners across the state. It is also linked to a similar BWSR search tool for state seed mixes. The plant finder’s database has been structured so that it can be searched with a variety of filters and tags, so that practitioners can “describe” a site that needs planting, including adverse site conditions and special parameters, and be given a detailed list of plant species that are most likely to succeed on the site. This project has been supported by the Minnesota Stormwater Research Council.

Event Speaker
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John Bly, Director of Operations and Special Projects at Metro Blooms, has been working with the Blue Thumb plant finder since 2015 when he was an MN GreenCorps member. He's received two BAs in Environmental and International Studies and Philosophy from American University, is a MInnesota Water Steward and is certified in Ecological Restoration. 

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Dan Shaw is the Senior Ecologist and Vegetation Specialist with the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR).  His work focuses on conservation partnerships, stormwater practices, plant community restoration, climate mitigation and adaptation, pollinator habitat and invasive species control. He has also taught design and ecological restoration classes at the University of Minnesota for the past 24 years and authored or co-authored and illustrated several publications including “Plants for Stormwater Design”, The “Minnesota Wetland Restoration Guide, “Planting for Pollinators” and “The Blue Thumb Guide to Raingardens”.