Updates and Articles

Oh, deer. Whitetails and Minnesota's future forests

Perhaps drinking from the river or bounding through blufflands, deer are a welcome sight on any oudoor excursion. From an ecological perspective, however, an overabundance of deer are creating problems. It turns out many uncommon native plants are especially tasty. But invasive species such as buckthorn and garlic mustard? Not so much. Compounded by earthworms and climate change, our treasured whitetails may play a large role in the future of our forests. 

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Unfortunately, deer don't enjoy munching on invasive plant species.
New visitor center is centerpiece of Fort Snelling’s 2020 vision

As Fort Snelling approaches it’s bicentennial in 2020, the Minnesota Historical Society is gearing up for exciting changes to the site, including a new visitor center, improved trails and wayfinding, less surface parking, and a renewed focus on the historical significance of this special place perched high above the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers.

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Picture of Fort Snelling
Northern Metal Recycling may be looking to move away from the river

Now that commercial barging in Minneapolis is no more, big changes could be coming to the riverfront in North Minneapolis—and much sooner than expected.

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Restoring prairie and savanna in an old rail yard

After a summer of planning, restoration is in full swing at Ole Olson Park. So far, the transformation at the site north of downtown Minneapolis has been dramatic. Restoration will continue in 2016 with the installation of roughly two acres of native prairie.

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Best of 2015: a photographic year in review

Thank you once again to our dedicated, enthusiastic volunteers! We had a record breaking year and couldn't have done it without you! Take a minute to check out our Best of 2015 Flickr photo album for a glimps of our year in review. We are working away to get the volunteer event schedule for 2016 set and hope to see many new and familiar faces at our upcoming events. FMR would also like to extend our thanks and gratitude to all of our event partners, sponsors and contributing members who help make these events possible.

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Not a creature was stirring...

Not even a...vole? An evening visit to the compost bin turns into a deadly encounter with a native rodent.

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Picture of a red-backed vole
World's largest cellulosic ethanol plant opens in Iowa

DuPont recently announced the opening of the world's largest cellulosic biofuel facility in Nevada, Iowa. The plant, which uses corn stover (the stems, stalks, leaves and husks of the corn plant) to produce ethanol, aims to produce approximately 30 million gallons of fuel per year. And it might not be good news.

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DuPont's 30-million gallon per year cellulosic ethanol plant in Nevada, Iowa
FMR to file amicus brief in favor of pollution lawsuit

FMR, along with our friends at Clean Up the River Environment (CURE) and the Lake Pepin Legacy Alliance, will soon file an amicus brief in support of a recent lawsuit charging the state with failing to adequately control pollution to the Mississippi River. The lawsuit, filed by the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA), faults the state for doing too little to protect the Mississippi River and Lake Pepin, and calls into question the state's plan to allow the "big five" metro-area wastewater treatment plants to increase their phosphorus pollution into the Mississippi River and Lake Pepin by 35%.

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The "Big Five" Wastewater Treatment Plants included in proposed pollution permit
A record year for river volunteers!

As the outdoor volunteer season comes to a close, we stand in awe of our river stewards' accomplishments. In 2015, some 3,637 people — individuals, families, church, school and neighborhood groups — came together from throughout the metro area to help the Mississippi River at 135 FMR volunteer events. Together they stenciled over 3,000 storm drains with educational messages helping residents connect their yards and streets to our local waters, removed over a thousand bags of invasive species from local parks and natural areas, removed litter from over 20 riverfront sites and installed native prairies and raingardens at six riverfront parks. At the end of our busiest restoration season on record, our community's ability to act on behalf of our local waters and wildlife continues to amaze us.

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Friends of the Mississippi River volunteers help protect water quality and wildlife habitat

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Upcoming Events

Tuesday, July 30, 2024 - 5:30pm to 8:00pm
Rotary Pavilion at Levee Park, Hastings
Saturday, August 3, 2024 - 9:00am to 2:00pm
Mississippi River Gorge, Minneapolis
New date: Saturday, August 10, 2024 at 5 p.m.
Hidden Falls Regional Park, St. Paul