Latest News

Installing cottonwood live stakes in the floodplain forest near Hastings

On a recent rainy October morning, volunteers from 3M helped FMR ecologists install over 300 cottonwood live stakes near the river in Hastings. Vital for wildlife and floodplain forests, cottonwoods have not been regenerating along the river. In 2013, FMR began a series of experimental plantings to help restore these imperiled icons. So far, live staking appears to be a promising method.

A key species of floodplain forests, Eastern Cottonwood trees aren't regenerating naturally in the floodplains. FMR ecologists and volunteers are using cottonwood cuttings or live stakes to re-establish a floodplain forest in Hastings.

November 2016
A schematic of the UHT site provided by in the development team proposal

Minneapolis' former port, the Upper Harbor Terminal site, could be home to a new riverfront concert venue. What would you like to see? Take the survey and join the discussion. (Rendering courtesy of upperharbormpls.com.)

Calling all river and park lovers:  Help shape the future of this 48-acre riverfront site in Minneapolis!

November 2016

Are you familiar with this industrial area along the Mississippi River? Hint: Plans are underway to transform it.

November 2016
Dead man's finger found at Pine Bend Bluffs

Dead man's fingers is a fungus found at the base of decaying hardwood trees. (Photo by Karen Schik)

FMR Lead Ecologist Karen Schik found this spooky-looking fungus deep in the oak forest ravines at Pine Bend Bluffs Scientific and Natural Area.

November 2016
South St. Paul City Council

Cheers to the South St. Paul City Council! (Photo courtesy southstpaul.org.)

FMR would like to thank the South St. Paul City Council and celebrate their recent decision to preserve a city-owned 5-acre site as open space. The site is located near the Mississippi River and adjacent to the Mississippi River Trail scheduled to be constructed in 2017. The council rejected a push to change the largely tree-covered site into a paved industrial railroad storage area.

This is a big win that maintains the city’s commitment to a more public and green riverfront for future generations!

October 2016
The newly proposed Falls Park and Visitor Center

A new proposal for the downtown Minneapolis riverfront, the Falls Park and Visitor Center (above) seems to be gathering momentum. However, a 20-plus-years-old effort to build a hydroelectric power plant in this area has re-emerged. Image courtesy of VJAA.

Amidst strong community opposition, Crown Hydro continues to pursue its proposal for a new hydroelectric plant near the Stone Arch Bridge. One group is fighting back with an alternative idea to use the now-closed St. Anthony Falls Lock as an interpretive center and meeting space.

October 2016
State of the River Report 2016 media attention

FMR and our local unit of the National Park Service released the updated State of the River Report to acclaim in late September. Heralded for its approachable and engaging style, the report highlights the status and trends of 14 key indicators of river health. It was warmly received by the media, with quality coverage from local and some national news outlets.

Now, State of the River authors Trevor Russell and Lark Weller are hitting the road to present report findings to stakeholder groups across the state. And to help readers make use of the report, we’ve created three companion guides for residents, teachers and policymakers to take the most important actions to support a healthier Mississippi River. 

October 2016
Habitat restoration volunteers collecting native seed in the prairie.

A flourishing prairie. Dozens of volunteers. Fall colors. Heaps of seed collected for future restoration efforts. Many thanks to all the volunteers who helped collect native seed — and to photographer Rich Wahls for capturing such a lovely morning working for the river!

October 2016
Guests with FMR Executive Director Whitney Clark.

From left, Maya and Peter Tester, FMR Executive Director Whitney Clark, and Michelle Beeman. Photo by Anna Botz.

Thanks to more than 250 river lovers, we raised over $175,000 to protect, restore and enhance the Mississippi River in the Twin Cities at our biggest party of the year!

October 2016

When things move that shouldn’t it’s a cause for investigation. The self-seeding motions of a pile of volunteer-gathered Indiangrass seed caught this FMR ecologist by surprise.

October 2016

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