Educational and Environmental Project Part 2 (or as I call it “Going Native”) + The Minnesota State Fair — how fun is that?! Once again I am delighted to be selected as part of MP&G Marketing Solutions’s team (who are Master Water Stewards themselves) and with Mary Pat McNeil, an amazing marketing strategist at the helm.

This project involved illustrating four key messages of client Blue Thumb that goes to its core mission: Planting for Clean Water.® The EPA identifies runoff as the number one threat to our fresh water resources. To protect this valuable natural resource, Blue Thumb along with professional and governmental partnerships are working with individuals, homeowners and commercial businesses to cultivate native plants and raingardens in under utilized spaces, especially those susceptible to dirty water runoff.

Blue Thumb’s four key messages, CAPTURE, PREVENT, PROVIDE and CONSERVE educate people about the benefits of native plants and help create a better understanding of their value to us and our environment. Delivery would be attractive outdoor posters as part of Blue Thumb’s Minnesota State Fair exhibit. Because the exhibit had a bounty of interesting and important information on display, these posters had capture Fair goers attention by being engaging and clear.


To make each poster compelling, I use a full-color image relevant to the message. Rather than use more copy to reinforce each poster’s key message, I used icons with a consistent design, colored to match each photo’s palette and effectively illustrate the supporting messages.

Blue Thumb Native Plants Capture Poster Message

Native Plants Capture and Filter Dirty Runoff. Native plants help take care of human activity in our desire to “tame nature” with manicured lawns and golf courses. “Going Native” captures pollutants caused by traditional landscaping (and Fido) filtering the dirty runoff that would end up in our lakes, rivers and precious aquifers.

Blue Thumb Native Plants Prevent Soil Erosion

Native Plants Prevent Erosion. I had no idea that most of the native plants and grasses are
growing below ground with amazingly long root structures for filtering and soil stabilization.
(This poster needed actual plant illustrations instead of icons to compare and contrast
native plants to our non-native grass-lawn tuff).


Native Plants Provide Food and Habitat for Pollinators. Even if you didn’t know dirty water runoff
was the number one threat to our fresh waterways, the fact native plants support bees, butterflies
and birds is a pretty compelling reason to “Go Native.”


Native Plants Conserve Water and Energy.  “Going Native” means less time and money mowing and fussing over lawns.


SIDE NOTE ONE: If you’ve got space in your yard or thinking about planting a raingarden, Blue Thumb is an excellent resource to help you get started and then some. And by the way, winter is the perfect time to start planning your ”Go Native” garden for spring planting.

SIDE NOTE TWO: If you’re looking for effective design and clear communications to get your message across to your audience, I can help make it happen. Just give me a shout.

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