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Thank you Tom Lewanski

Bill Clinton was President, Arne Carlson was Minnesota’s governor, Michael Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to a sixth NBA championship and Google was founded in a California garage, but the big news in 1998 was that Tom Lewanski was hired as FMR's first conservation director. After more than 19 years of outstanding service to FMR and our great river — having protected or restored 2,800 acres of prairie, forest, wetlands and other natural areas — Tom is leaving. 

September 2017
You're invited to The River Belongs to Us All: An Evening Celebrating the River

Join us to celebrate the Mississippi in the midst of its fall splendor, Thursday, September 28. From our beautiful venue on the river, we'll toast to you and the recent successes you made possible.

Guests will hear from keynote speaker, Dr. Dorceta Taylor, one of the country's preeminent environmental justice scholars. Dr. Taylor, who says her work is about opening doors for other people by making the environmental movement more diverse, will talk about the intersection of environmental history, politics and justice, and what we can all do to make our special, natural places more inclusive. 

Additionally, the evening will feature an entertaining river-themed live auction, the renown Davu Seru Trio, and hearty local fare and refreshments — including a just-for-FMR signature cocktail.

July 2016
Popular stormwater feature

A new stormwater "stream" is a popular feature of redevelopment plans for the Ford site (see rendering above), but we should also seize this rare opportunity to create more river bluff parkland.

Opportunities to create bluff-top parkland in the heart of a growing city only come along every two or three generations. As draft plans for the Ford site redevelopment along the Mississippi River head to the St. Paul city council, we urge city leaders to seize this opportunity for the benefit of this generation and all those to come.

September 2017
West Publishing and county jail site in downtown St. Paul

After spending millions to demolish city and county-owned buildings built into and atop the bluff just west of where Wabasha bridge meets downtown, St. Paul and Ramsey County are once again looking for a developer to return the site to the tax rolls and strengthen St. Paul's riverfront.

The redevelopment of the former West Publishing and county jail site on the bluffs of the Mississippi in downtown St. Paul hit another snag recently when the landowner, Ramsey County, and the prospective developer, Cardon Development Group, decided to part ways. The county is now considering plans that call for less parking. FMR has been closely following efforts to redevelop the site and recently served on a task force formed by the county and the city to provide guidance.
September 2017
25by25 logo

Gov. Mark Dayton's "25 by '25" initiative aims to reduce water pollution in Minnesota 25 percent by 2025.

As part of his "25 by '25" initiative to reduce water pollution in Minnesota 25 percent by 2025, Gov. Mark Dayton has been holding a series of town hall meetings across the state. Both the town hall-style meetings and the online comment period wrap up Thursday, October 5.

The final three town halls will be held in the metro September 27 in Minneapolis, October 4 in Burnsville and October 5 in Stillwater. 

While FMR water policy staff plan to attend the Minneapolis meeting, we encourage you to attend whichever meeting works best for you or contribute your thoughts online.

September 2017

Can you identify this mystery view? While it seems to feature the river's natural beauty, the human-made landmarks are over a century old.

September 2017
The paired, bright red berries of bush honeysuckles are easy to spot in the fall.

The paired, bright red berries of bush honeysuckles are easy to spot in the fall. Unfortunately, their beauty belies some serious negative effects on our feathered friends.

Each fall, two common invasive plants produce starkly colored berries: European buckthorn bears shiny jet-black fruit while bush honeysuckle produces brilliant red to yellow berries. Unfortunately, birds that dine on the fruit not only spread the invasives' seed but are negatively impacted by the berries themselves — they can even disrupt some birds' mating patterns! 

September 2017

Water levels in White Bear Lake have fallen due to excessive pumping from the aquifer underneath the lake.

In a sweeping order, Ramsey County Judge Margaret Marrinan faulted the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for authorizing unsustainable groundwater pumping; depleting the aquifer and artificially lowering water levels in White Bear Lake. The ruling could have widespread implications for groundwater management in Minnesota.

September 2017

What is your river story? We'd like to know. The fall 2017 issue of Write to the River is now open for short prose and poetry submissions through November 1, 2017. Our photo prompt is 'Reflecting on the Smith Bridge' by photographer Tom Reiter. What is it about the Mississippi River that compels you to stop and gaze? 

August 2017

The Mississippi is one of the world’s great rivers, a natural resource of global significance. In the Twin Cities metro, it provides recreation and a sense of place for millions of residents and visitors. Unfortunately, it still faces many threats. Do you know someone who can help us face them as our new conservation director?

August 2017