Invasive species removal at Cottage Grove Ravine Park

Event Date: 
Wednesday, May 12, 2021 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park
A view of the lake at Cottage Grove Ravine Park

The lake at Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park offers beautiful views, as well as functioning as an important part of the wildlife corridor in Washington County.

With 515 acres of hills and heavily wooded ravines, a small lake and a smattering of small prairies, Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park features a beautifully diverse landscape. A glacial tunnel valley bisects the park, featuring 80- to 100-foot slopes which are home to a compelling array of vegetation and habitats. The ravine ends in a small lake where people enjoy fishing, birdwatching and picnics.

In addition to being beautiful, the park's dramatic natural features play an important role in water quality, helping to filter pollution from post-rainstorm runoff that would otherwise enter the Mississippi River. The restoration work at Ravine Park is part of a larger effort in Washington County — involving FMR, Washington County, South Washington Watershed District, 3M Foundation and other partners — to protect and preserve a natural green corridor for our waters, our wildlife and our heritage.

FMR volunteers have been contributing to the restoration of Ravine Park for nearly seven years. Join us as we build upon our successful efforts and help the oak forest.

Volunteers are needed to remove the invasive species garlic mustard, helping to make way for native woodland and savanna plants that historically were found here. The native plants provide habitat for birds, bees and other insects and wildlife, and better filter water pollution.

All are welcome! No experience is required and all training and supplies will be provided. Entry to the park, normally $5, is free for participating volunteers!

Before you register

A short walk on a paved trail is required to get to the worksite, including a small hill. Volunteers will be working on uneven terrain.

Ready to register?

To sign up and receive directions to the meeting spot, contact FMR Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator Sophie Downey at, 651-222-2193 x27. Please include the name of the event, your name, address, phone number and the number in your party. Due to our smaller event sizes, we ask that you limit groups to 4 or less.

You will receive a confirmation email from within two business days. (If you don't, please check your spam or promotions folder.) 

If you're under 18 and interested in volunteering without the company of your parent or guardian, please take a moment and have them fill out this brief minor permission form.

Can't make it?

To receive notices of future volunteer events, contact FMR Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator Sophie Downey at Or, visit our Events Calendar for our most up-to-date listing of upcoming events. To receive a twice-a-month e-newsletter including all FMR activities and news, sign up for Mississippi Messages.

What about COVID-19?

We've modified our events during the pandemic to be smaller, and allow for individuals to work while safely six feet apart. All tools will be sanitized between events, and all gloves provided are unused in 2020 or 2021. Once registered, volunteers will receive a full list of safety precautions and guidelines. You can read more about our policies here.

We're watching the CDC and Minnesota Department of Health guidelines closely. If plans change based on their recommendations, FMR Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator Sophie Downey will email registrants with event updates. (Be sure to add to your contacts so updates don't land in spam.) And we'll update this page if anything changes.

We will offer gloves and hand sanitizer at the event. Volunteers are required to bring and wear their own masks.

Thank you to our partners and funders: 3M Foundation, BNSF Foundation, the City of Cottage Grove, the Outdoor Heritage Fund, RBC Wealth Management, Washington County and Xcel Energy.