FMR's spring 2016 choose-your-own-adventure guide
Spring fever has struck again. We're ready to get outside and help the river we love. Whether you want to help restore local natural areas or your own backyard, organize your own outing or keep things simple and join an existing event, FMR's got you covered.
New to FMR events?
Rest assured, we know your time is precious and we aim to make the most it. At FMR events:
- Supplies, logistics and directions are taken care of so you can focus on learning about and helping the river.
- Your volunteer experience is as important as the work at hand. We strive to get you the information you need in a jargon-free manner, and often limit event capacity to make sure everyone feels comfortable asking questions and has the right amount of work to do.
- Your contributions have lasting power. At FMR, all restoration activities are part of larger, long-term restoration and conservation plans. If you're removing invasive species at one of our volunteer outings, you can trust we'll be back to build upon your work. In addition, restoration sites are selected strategically. So while you may be working in one small area, you're contributing to a larger project that is improving our local wildlife habitat and water quality.
- You're never volunteering exclusively for FMR. Every FMR volunteer event or outing involves one or more partner groups – city park departments or commissions, state and federal agencies, watershed districts, private landowners, other nonprofits, and/or additional community institutions. So when you volunteer at, say, Pine Bend Scientific & Natural Area, you're not only volunteering for FMR but the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources as well as our local Mississippi River unit of the National Park Service. (In fact, FMR volunteers make up a large percentage of the volunteers for our local Mississippi River national park.)
What are you looking for?
FMR strives to offer programs to meet different needs. As a result, we have over a hundred public and group events annually, varying in size, location, activity and commitment level. Of course, with all of these offerings, it can be hard to figure out the best fit for you and yours, which is where this guide comes in. Which of these best describes what you're looking for?
Great, most of the events on the FMR calendar are two to three hours in length and are a perfect fit for individuals and small groups. Please note: Events are added frequently so be sure to check back, or sign up for Mississippi Messages to receive event calendars and river news in your inbox.
If you're looking for a large-scale Earth Day activity, join us for the annual Minneapolis River Gorge Stewards Earth Day cleanup, Saturday, April 23.
For a more specialized outing off the beaten path, consider joining FMR staff and a smaller group of volunteers at the highly protected Vermillion Aquatic Management Area, Saturday, May 7.
- If you have a group of 20 people or more and would like to arrange your own group volunteer outing with FMR, we'd be happy to stencil storm drains in St. Paul with you and yours. Spring is booked and we are currently scheduling for summer and fall.
- If you have fewer than 20 and would like to arrange your own outing, we have a storm-drain stenciling kit just for you.
I'm a service learner. What do you have for college students with hours to complete? Or instructors?
- Thanks for checking us out! Please start here.
- Yard and gardening practices are a significant contributor to the health of our local waters.
- Register to attend our upcoming water-friendly lawn and garden workshop at Excelsior Brewing Company on Monday, May 2.
- Sign up for Mississippi Messages to receive notices of upcoming FMR events and workshops as we are planning also rain barrel workshops for later this season.
- While it's hard to replace a workshop, FMR's Landscape for The River page features the most practical and easy to follow local resources to help you get going on water and wildlife-friendly projects for your yard this season.
- FMR also offers experiential water-quality presentations for classrooms and select adult groups of approximately 30 people or more in St. Paul, and with youth groups in North and Northeast Minneapolis. Get in touch via this online form.
This is too many choices. Is there a human I can talk to?
FMR Volunteer Coordinator Amy Kilgore can be reached at 651-222-2193 x31, firstname.lastname@example.org.