A record year for river volunteers!

Friends of the Mississippi River volunteers help protect water quality and wildlife habitat

As the outdoor volunteer season comes to a close we stand in awe of our river stewards' accomplishments. Through 135 FMR events and outings in 2015, some 3,637 people — individuals, families, church, school and corporate groups — came together from throughout the metro area to help the Mississippi River. At the end of our busiest restoration season on record, our community's ability to act on behalf of our local waters and wildlife continues to amaze.

Highlights include:

• 1,625 urban youth and corporate volunteers stenciled 3,308 storm drains with the message "Keep 'em clean, Drains to River" and distributed 9,144 doorhangers on water-friendly home and yard practices in the surrounding communities

• 547 people participitated in 22 FMR riverfront cleanups

• 725 people helped remove over a thousand trash bags of invasive species such as garlic mustard and buckthorn at 32 FMR events and programs

• 196 people helped plant native prairie, forest and raingardens at seven restoration sites throughout the metro area, spanning from north and northeast Minneapolis to Vermillion Linear Park in Hastings

• 97 people helped collect much-needed native seed for future habitat restoration events at 4 seed collection events

• 28 people monitored water quality through an intensive macroinvertebrate (stream-dwelling bugs) sampling program

• Additional restoration outings included protecting a young native forest through tree-tubing, sorting native seed and giving tours on behalf of FMR. 

A giant THANK YOU to our many volunteer river stewards for all of your hard work. You inspire us daily. FMR would also like to express our gratitude to all the event partners, sponsors and contributing members who help make these programs possible.  

To see photo albums from FMR's 2015 restoration season, visit us on flickr.

If you'd like to hear about upcoming FMR volunteer or education events, sign up for our e-newsletter, Mississippi Messages