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FMR Updates

More development coming to Saint Paul's West Side

Architect rendition of the planned West Side Flats phase 3 development.  Image source: Sherman Associates

An exciting new riverfront development project planned for Saint Paul's West Side Flats will add commercial space with a strong pedestrian connection to the river esplanade, plus market rate and affordable housing.

November 9

The green amidst the gray: the distinctive phenology of non-native shrubs

A layer of green on an otherwise gray and brown backdrop is evidence of buckthorn’s distinctive phenology.

A layer of green on an otherwise gray and brown backdrop is evidence of buckthorn’s distinctive phenology.

It’s finally (or already!) November and the leaves have fallen from the trees. Well, not quite all of them. If you take a close look at a nearby forest, you’ll likely notice a dense layer of green still present in the shrub layer. What are these shrubs and why are they still green when other species have all dropped their leaves? In and around the Twin Cities, it’s a good bet that these shrubs are either common buckthorn or one of a few species of bush honeysuckles, and their “distinctive phenology” actually plays a large part in their success in Minnesota’s forest ecosystems.

November 9

Stenciling ... That's a wrap, folks

A group of storm drain stencilers stands at an overlook to Downtown St. Paul.

Groups of all ages can stencil with FMR! Here Metro State Upward Bound students stenciled in an area with a great view of downtown Saint Paul. 

Thank you to all of our wonderful 2015 stenciling volunteers! Stenciling is an effective way to spread the message that anything that goes down that storm drain ends up in the Mississippi River. Thanks to our volunteers of all ages who helped stencil, from public and corporate groups to middle schoolers, we have exceeded our goals for the year. 

October 13

How will Minnesota implement the new buffer law?

Buffers of perennial vegetation help protect Minnesota's land, water, and wildlife

One of FMR's top priorities during this year's legislative session was passage of Governor Dayton's much-discussed Buffer Initiative. While a substantially revised (and watered-down) version of Governor Dayton's proposal did become law, implementation of the law will be critical to its success.

October 12

Saint Paul reveals exciting plans for river balcony park

Saint Paul River Balcony rendering from the Great River Passage Plan

A rendering of the proposed Saint Paul River Balcony from the Great River Passage Plan.

On September 24, Saint Paul Mayor Coleman presented the city's latest vision to improve the connections between the Mississippi River and downtown Saint Paul while improving the parkland and connections along the river between the Science Museum and the Union Depot.

October 12

New FMR film about our local national park — Watch the trailer and sign up for the premiere!



To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016, FMR is making a documentary about our very own national park, the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. The film tells the story of the effort to get Congress to designate the park, explores the meaning of this legacy, and stresses the need for continued stewardship and advocacy on the park's behalf. Check it out!

October 8

Clean water rules! We hope the courts agree.

The U.S. EPA’s Clean Water Rule, an update to the Clean Water Act of 1972, went into effect on August 28, 2015. Before the rule was finalized, North Dakota led 13 states in challenging the legality of the rule, exempting them from the rule until the courts make a decision. Now others are questioning whether enforcement of the rule in all states should halt while the courts decide its legality.

September 11

Crown Hydro is trying (again) to renew 16-year old hydroelectric license

In spite of numerous yet unsuccessful attempts to build a hydroelectric power plant at St. Anthony Falls, Crown Hydro LLC is giving it another try.  Their most recent proposal is not garnering much support, however, and many folks­­—including the City of Minneapolis and the National Park Service are saying it’s time for Crown to go back to the drawing board.

September 10

Governor Dayton establishes new MPCA advisory committee

Earlier this month, Governor Mark Dayton signed an executive order creating a Governor's Committee to Advise the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). While the new group, which will consist of eight members plus the MPCA Commissioner, won't have the same authority as the recently abolished MPCA Citizens Board, the committee creates an important a forum for public input on environmental decision-making by the agency.

August 17

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