pollinator garden with Blazing Star blossoms

Blazing Star Award


Communities across Minnesota are finding innovative ways to protect the environment and solve complex problems. From restoring our native prairies in the most southern parts of the state to safeguarding our northernmost forest, Minnesotans care about the conservation legacy we leave behind. To celebrate the critical role communities play in preserving each corner of the state, we’ve created the Blazing Star Award.

Blazing Star Award from Conservation Minnesota

Blazing the Way in Conservation

The Blazing Star Award acknowledges local governments for exciting projects that advance conservation, climate resilience, environmental protection, or outdoor recreation opportunities. Winners are selected by a panel of judges and receive the Blazing Star Award plaque and public recognition.

Enter Your Project!

2024 project applications are not yet open. Check back soon!


Who is eligible?

Any local government in Minnesota (city, county, Tribal nation) that has completed or started a project in the last year.

Who can enter?

Local government staff and leaders and anyone who believes their local government should be recognized are encouraged to apply.

What types of projects are eligible?

The project should connect to conservation, the environment, climate change, or outdoor recreation.

Examples could include projects such as:

  • Promoting pollinator-friendly gardens
  • Expanding access to organics recycling
  • Working to make it easier to install solar panels on large buildings
  • Creating an equipment library for outdoor recreation

Can I enter more than one project?

Yes, you can fill out more than one application, and local governments can apply more than once as long as each submission is for a unique project.

Bee on Blazing Star blooms

Why the Blazing Star?

We named this award after a plant native to US prairies that has characteristics we celebrate: it’s hardy, adaptable, and environmentally-friendly. The purple bottlebrush blossoms of the Blazing Star provide beneficial nectar to bumblebees and butterflies for a long stretch in late summer, and birds eat the seeds in autumn.

2023 Blazing Star Awardees

  • Hopkins—Heat vulnerability study
  • Howard Lake—Minnesota's first net-zero energy library
  • Sherburne County—Accessibility and management improvements at Grams Park

Learn more about each of these award-winning projects.

Learn about past Blazing Star Awardees.

Have questions or want to learn more?

Contact Avery Hildebrand at avery@conservationminnesota.org.