Conservation and Restoration Blog

FMR works with landowners, government agencies and concerned residents — including hundreds of volunteers — to protect and restore bluffs, prairies, forests and other lands important to our communities and the health of our metro Mississippi.

Here's what our conservation staff are currently working on and encountering in the field.

A map of our protection and restoration sites is available here, as well as more information about our approach and program.

Conservation updates are also shared on social media (Facebook and Twitter) and in our Mississippi Messages newsletter.

Karen Schik
September 7, 2020

Our summer intern Michaela Hackbarth reflects on the gray catbird's call, how field work requires great people skills, and the expansive feeling at FMR habitat restoration sites.  >>

September 7, 2020

How are wild canids adapting to urban areas? Help researchers find out more this fall and winter, get a project update from the first field season, and learn how to identify and differentiate gray foxes, red foxes and coyotes with our guide, so you can record your sightings.  >>

Alex Roth
September 4, 2020

The Star Tribune recently covered the island-building project at Pig's Eye Lake in East Side St. Paul's riverfront park. As our executive director Whitney Clark stated in the article, FMR supports the project overall, and would also like to see project planners "really consider including climate-adaptive species and use this opportunity to understand more about habitat restoration in the era of climate change."  >>

Alex Roth
September 1, 2020

Have you seen a coyote or fox on your Twin Cities property? If so, let us know if you'd be willing to let our research partners capture and collar these animals! It will help us understand how they're adapting to urban areas, and inform our habitat management strategies for these species. >>

Alex Roth
August 6, 2020

This year, FMR is embarking on a new partnership with the Lower Phalen Creek Project, an indigenous-led organization working to engage the community in honoring and caring for natural areas and their sacred and cultural importance. Along with LPCP and St. Paul Parks and Recreation, we're updating an outdated management plan for the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary to ensure healthy habitat with a special focus on culturally important plant species and restoration techniques that better represent and honor the site's history and its ongoing importance to Dakota people.  >>

July 28, 2020

We've written a lot about how anglers can help our waters and wildlife by avoiding lead tackle. But another key action is disposing of fishing line responsibly. Jonathan, a Youth Empowerment Program participant this summer and avid fisher, built and installed a PVC fishing line receptacle at Hidden Falls Park. He's also got some tips for dealing with fishing line.  >>

Alex Roth
July 24, 2020

Fire is one of the most important tools we use in the habitat restoration process, but burns require the right combination of weather, preparation and planning. Through a challenging spring, we were still able to burn five of our sites. Get a glimpse into the process in this video and photos from our spring burn season.  >>

July 21, 2020

Zosh, a summer Youth Empowerment Program participant, used her scientific illustration skills to celebrate pollinators and native plants.  >>

July 14, 2020

Last spring, Dakota County put together an exciting plan to conserve up to 40,000 acres important to our communities, wildlife and waters. Dozens of you voiced support for the plan to the county commissioners who are now considering whether and how to fund the effort. Sign up to stay in the loop.  >>

June 24, 2020

In the mood for a little good news? There's some impressive conservation planning happening on behalf of natural resources and open spaces in Dakota County. And with some urging from community members, the county-drawn plans could lead to some exciting land protection and habitat restoration projects — thousands of acres worth! 

A previous similar effort protected many beloved Dakota County parks and natural areas, including creating habitat for animals like the fisher above. >>

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