This year, youth from throughout the metro river corridor helped us educate Twin Citians about the connection between our homes and streets to the river, restore important natural areas, and research what works best for local ecological restoration projects. Despite all the thunderstorms, 2016 was a fantastic year for FMR youth programs and accomplishments.
American Indian Magnet School students take pride in keeping their school grounds and neighborhood clean, and keeping all the trash from flowing into the streets and the Mississippi River. Thanks to all of our young river stewards for setting such great examples!
Minneapolis' former port, the Upper Harbor Terminal site, could be home to a new riverfront concert venue. What would you like to see? Take the survey and join the discussion. (Rendering courtesy of upperharbormpls.com.)
Calling all river and park lovers: Help shape the future of this 48-acre riverfront site in Minneapolis!
Despite featuring an area that's been in the headlines, our November view of an industrial area along the river was a real stumper. Cheers to Janette Law for submitting the only correct response!
On a recent rainy October morning, volunteers from 3M helped FMR ecologists install over 300 cottonwood live stakes near the river in Hastings. Vital for wildlife and floodplain forests, cottonwoods have not been regenerating along the river. In 2013, FMR began a series of experimental plantings to help restore these imperiled icons. So far, live staking appears to be a promising method.
A key species of floodplain forests, Eastern Cottonwood trees aren't regenerating naturally in the floodplains. FMR ecologists and volunteers are using cottonwood cuttings or live stakes to re-establish a floodplain forest in Hastings.
Dead man's fingers is a fungus found at the base of decaying hardwood trees. (Photo by Karen Schik)
FMR Lead Ecologist Karen Schik found this spooky-looking fungus deep in the oak forest ravines at Pine Bend Bluffs Scientific and Natural Area.
Cheers to the South St. Paul City Council! (Photo courtesy southstpaul.org.)
FMR would like to thank the South St. Paul City Council and celebrate their recent decision to preserve a city-owned 5-acre site as open space. The site is located near the Mississippi River and adjacent to the Mississippi River Trail scheduled to be constructed in 2017. The council rejected a push to change the largely tree-covered site into a paved industrial railroad storage area.
This is a big win that maintains the city’s commitment to a more public and green riverfront for future generations!
A new proposal for the downtown Minneapolis riverfront, the Falls Park and Visitor Center (above) seems to be gathering momentum. However, a 20-plus-years-old effort to build a hydroelectric power plant in this area has re-emerged. Image courtesy of VJAA.
Amidst strong community opposition, Crown Hydro continues to pursue its proposal for a new hydroelectric plant near the Stone Arch Bridge. One group is fighting back with an alternative idea to use the now-closed St. Anthony Falls Lock as an interpretive center and meeting space.
FMR and our local unit of the National Park Service released the updated State of the River Report to acclaim in late September. Heralded for its approachable and engaging style, the report highlights the status and trends of 14 key indicators of river health. It was warmly received by the media, with quality coverage from local and some national news outlets.
Now, State of the River authors Trevor Russell and Lark Weller are hitting the road to present report findings to stakeholder groups across the state. And to help readers make use of the report, we’ve created three companion guides for residents, teachers and policymakers to take the most important actions to support a healthier Mississippi River.
A flourishing prairie. Dozens of volunteers. Fall colors. Heaps of seed collected for future restoration efforts. Many thanks to all the volunteers who helped collect native seed — and to photographer Rich Wahls for capturing such a lovely morning working for the river!
From left, Maya and Peter Tester, FMR Executive Director Whitney Clark, and Michelle Beeman. Photo by Anna Botz.
Thanks to more than 250 river lovers, we raised over $175,000 to protect, restore and enhance the Mississippi River in the Twin Cities at our biggest party of the year!