25 Special Places: The Central Mpls. riverfront

Downtown Minneapolis glows along the Mississippi at the end of the Stone Arch Bridge.

Downtown Minneapolis glows above the Mississippi at the end of the Stone Arch Bridge.

To celebrate our 25th year, each month in 2018 FMR staff will profile places along the metro Mississippi River that are near and dear to us, places that connect to FMR but that we also enjoy in our own downtime. By the end of our silver year, we'll have built a map of 25 special river places for you and yours to learn about, visit and enjoy.

This month: Minneapolis’ Central riverfront.

Venture along with us to a few downtown Minneapolis riverfront icons — Nicollet Island, the Stone Arch Bridge and the Mill District. Many of you have been here before, but along the way, we'll be sure to point out lesser-known spots and facts and the scoop on changes to come. >>

March 6

Welcome intern Elizabeth Carls!

Elizabeth Carls

Elizabeth Carls will assist FMR ecologists in 2018.

As she completes her master's in horticulture at the University of Minnesota, Elizabeth Carls will also be working with FMR ecologists Karen Schik and Alex Roth throughout the 2018 habitat restoration and monitoring season.

Elizabeth will conduct rare plant surveys, lead our monarch monitoring program at Pine Bend, and assist with bird surveys. She'll also lend a hand at our volunteer and education outings. Be sure to say hello at an upcoming FMR event!

March 2

Multiple bills undermine state drinking water protection authority

We can all agree that clean, safe drinking water should be accessible and affordable for everyone regardless of geography or income. Unfortunately, no fewer than five bills have already been introduced this session that undercut state authority to protect public and private wells from contamination through the 1989 Groundwater Protection Act. >>

February 27

Our 2018 legislative priorities

Our Capitol rotunda, full of hundreds of Minnesotans calling on legislators to support clean water.

Minnesotans from across the state gathered in the Capitol rotunda to support clean water during the 2017 Water Action Day.

Budget uncertainty, election-year politics and a sometimes-heated debate on environment and conservation issues should make for a fascinating legislative session. Here are our priorities for the 2018 session, which kicks off Tuesday, February 20.

February 12

Special Places: Minneapolis' riverfront Above the Falls

View of downtown Mpls from the Lowry bridge

View from the Lowry Bridge in North and Northeast Minneapolis looking south towards downtown.

To celebrate our 25th year, each month in 2018 FMR staff will profile places along the metro Mississippi River that are near and dear to us, places that connect to FMR but that we also enjoy in our own downtime. By the end of our silver year, we'll have built a map of 25 special river places for you and yours to learn about, visit and enjoy.

This month: Minneapolis’s riverfront Above the Falls.

The Minneapolis riverfront north of St. Anthony Falls is an interesting juxtaposition of the natural, urban and industrial. Here you can enjoy bike and pedestrian trails, or rent a kayak to see a heron rookery, restored prairie, riverfront raingarden parks and sculptures, as well as industrial relics. You'll also want to visit often over the next decade to experience the changing riverfront, as more industrial sites are converted into public parklands.

February 12

Nature notes: Turtles on the go under the ice

Swimming turtle

For reasons yet to be understood, painted turtles remain active but out of sight under winter ice. (Photo from gorthx on Flickr/Creative Commons)

For reasons not yet understood, many turtles stay active under the winter ice. Learn more about their mysterious habits and about a local FMR turtle protection project in this month's Nature Notes. >>

February 9

If you build it, will they come? Investigating whether restored habitat means more wildlife.

A red fox ventures into an open, grassy area.

Bird surveys and wildlife cameras (one of which captured this red fox on film) have long provided a glimpse of how wildlife use our restoration sites. But recently we've been greatly expanding our monitoring to include amphibians, reptiles, pollinators and other insects.

Since the creation of our land conservation program over 20 years ago, FMR has protected, restored or enhanced over a thousand acres of prairie, forest, wetland and other types of wildlife and pollinator habitat in the metro area. But does increasing native habitat result in the return of native animals?

Learn about bird surveys, wildlife cams and our work with local high schools to find out. >>

February 9

Claim your day: FMR is scheduling summer group outings

Students stencil storm drains in St. Paul neighborhoods

A group of students from Neighborhood House summer programs stencil storm drains in a St. Paul neighborhood.

If you're looking for a service outing that's educational, active, outdoors and provides a tangible community benefit, consider storm drain stenciling in St. Paul with FMR. 

Reservations for outings, as well as classroom presentations and litter cleanups, are now being taken for summer and fall 2018. >>

February 6

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