Updates and Articles

Restoring a blank slate at Houlton Farm

FMR ecologist Alex Roth is knee-deep into writing the Natural Resources Management Plan at Houlton Farm in Elk River. The property presents a variety of challenges, but is an incredible opportunity to conduct large-scale habitat restoration.

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The Mississippi River runs along the southern edge of the Houlton Farm property, and the islands of the Mississippi River Islands SNA (left) already provide important protected habitat in the area.
Monarchs aren't the only milkweed dwellers preparing for flight

While the best-known migratory insect may be monarch butterflies, another denizen of milkweed plants is also facing a long migration as fall approaches.

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Milkweed bug nymphs with black wing buds, found on whorled milkweed in late August in Dakota County. Once mature, this generation will fly south as food supplies dwindle.
Three cheers for the Minneapolis Park Board

The Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board has stayed strong in the face of difficult negotiations with Graco Corporation. In the end MPRB had to take the land along the river for a trail easement by eminent domain. Graco tried and failed to get something in return that would allow them to develop a portion of the adjacent property slated to become Hall’s Island Park. Instead, MPRB paid more than $600,000 for land Graco had promised to donate over a decade ago.

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Riverview Corridor Transit Study underway. Your input wanted!

Ramsey County Regional Rail Authority is conducting a study of possible ways to improve public transit options within the Riverview Corridor — located between Union Depot in downtown Saint Paul and the Mall of America. While the project has the promise of greatly improving public access to the river, FMR is also concerned about the possibility of a new bridge across the Mississippi in the scenic gorge. The study, which will be completed in early 2016, will recommend a preferred route and transit mode to be studied further. Provide your input today!

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Is it goldenrod or ragweed?

Many people suffer from allergies during mid to late summer, but few know exactly what causes them. Folks usually chalk these allergies up to hay fever, and rightly so, but are all plants to blame? Goldenrod, a prolific flowering plant with masses of golden flowers, is often mistakenly blamed for causing the itchy eyes, runny nose and other symptoms that many of us suffer from. However, for most of us, ragweed is the true culprit.

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Resource of the Month: The best views of the river

There are numerous places to view the river, but two stand out far above the others.

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The good, the bad and the dirty: The environment and the 2015 special session

Following the chaotic end of the 2015 regular legislative session, the conservation community rallied to build public support for a veto of a highly controversial environmental bill: the Omnibus Environment and Agriculture Bill.

While Governor Dayton is to be commended for his veto of the original bill, a renegotiated bill surfaced during the recent legislative special session and was passed with many of the same dirty water provisions that were in the original bill.

Overall, the Omnibus Environment and Agriculture Bill remains one of the most anti-clean-water measures to come out of the state legislature in recent memory, and includes an especially egregious repeal of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Citizens' Board.

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Oversized development downsized at Mississippi and Minnesota River confluence

Last month, FMR appealed the Saint Paul Planning Commission decision to grant a height variance in the confluence area because we believed it would greatly impact this significant portion of the river corridor. We are pleased that the Saint Paul City Council decreased the building height variance to allow a 60 foot building instead of a 73.5 foot building — a 13.5 foot decrease.

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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