Working to protect the Mississippi River and its watershed in the Twin Cities area

Bust Buckthorn in 'Tunnel Valley'

Display Date: 
Saturday, November 2, 2013 — 9:00 am-noon
Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park, Cottage Grove

Photos by Gabrielle Ghreichi and Adam Flett, FMR

Volunteers enjoy a nice fall workout removing buckthorn and other woody species. The clearer area not only provides a better view, but makes room for native plants more benificial for our waters and wildlife.

Centered around one of the most impressive landscape features in southern Washington County, Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park totals nearly 600 acres. The ravine for which it is named is approximately a half-mile wide with 80- to 100-foot slopes, and bisects the park north to south before ending in a small lake. Known as a "tunnel valley," the ravine was carved by a subglacial drainageway that carried large volumes of water, eroding the valley.

Historically the slopes were covered by oak woodland and savanna, however they've grown in with trees and invasive nonnative shrubs. Volunteers will work with FMR Senior Ecologist Karen Schik to begin the restoration of this beautiful landscape by hauling cut brush (and there may also be some brush-cutting for volunteers comfortable working with handsaws or loppers). Professional crews will be chipping the wood for city use. This will help open the canopy, making way for more beneficial native plants to return.

No experience is required and all supplies, as well as lunch, will be provided. Photos from a similar event in fall 2012 are available on FMR's flickr page.

Ready to register?

To ensure a high-quality experience, capacity is limited and pre-registration required. To sign up, simply contact FMR's Volunteer Registrar Lindsay Hefferan at lhefferan[at], or by selecting "Lindsay Hefferan" from the drop-down "Category" menu of our contact form. Please include: the name of the event, your name, address and phone number and the number in your party. You will receive a confirmation email and additional details, such as directions and what to wear, from lhefferan[at] within, at most, a week.

Please add Lindsay's email to your address book to ensure receipt if you have an active spam filter or an earthlink email.


More information


Thank you partners and sponsors City of Cottage Grove, Washington County and the 3M Foundation!
Be sure to register (required) to ensure adequate supplies, lunch included, and to make sure you receive directions to the correct meeting spot.