Crosby Farm Natural Area to be restored with FMR help
FMR is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Capitol Region Watershed District (CRWD) and the City of Saint Paul Parks to restore four acres of floodplain prairie habitat at the Crosby Farm Natural Area across the river from Fort Snelling.
The prairie restoration will flank both sides of the drive that enters Crosby Park from the north, making its aesthetic and ecological values highly visible and accessible to park users. Restoring prairie at this site will enhance wildlife habitat and improve water quality by providing natural filtration and flood storage for stormwater runoff before it enters the river.
Funding from CRWD will support volunteer training, stewardship and education activities at the site through FMRs Gorge Stewards Program, engaging more than 100 volunteers and participants in the project. FMR is contributing resources to cover the costs of crew work, plants and other project materials using state Metro Conservation Corridors funding (provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources.)
Both volunteers and professional crews will be needed for success. In the spring, crews will spray and remove invasive species, prep the site and spread local prairie seed through most of the four acres. A 10-15 foot swath on either side of the road will be planted with prairie plugs during an FMR Gorge Stewards event, providing a profusion of roadside flowers to delight birds, butterflies and park users alike.
In addition to the spring planting event, Gorge Stewards volunteers will have several opportunities to participate in the project. An interpretive program and birding hike will kick off the project in early May. In September an interpretive tour of the prairie will share the projects success with community members and explain the benefits of native prairie restoration to water quality and wildlife. Volunteers can also assist with the ongoing management and weeding of the prairie planting during three summer workday events.
In addition to dedicating Metro Conservation Corridors (MeCC) funding for the Crosby Farm project, FMR is also using MeCC funds to improve the habitat value at Watergate Marina and the Mississippi River bluffs north of the Ford Bridge in Saint Paul.
To learn more or sign up to get involved, please contact Karen Solas, Stewardship Coordinator, through out contact form or call 651-222-2193 x16.