Updates and Articles

DNR supports key FMR-sought protections for metro river corridor

During the final phase of developing updated rules for the Mississippi River Critical Area, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources recommended a number of positive changes in response to comments from FMR staff and advocates.

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Creating 'Prairie Park'

Two phrases not often used together are “prairie planting” and “oil refinery,” but many years ago employees at the St. Paul Park Refinery noticed a small patch of native prairie on company property and they've been taking care of it ever since. Recently, they worked with FMR to expand the natural area and also install a demonstration garden, hoping to inspire even more native plantings for pollinators.

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Earthworms invade our forest floor

When people think about natural seasonal changes, we usually look up — bud break, bird migration, leaf change, etc. But what about the natural world under our feet? There's a buzz of activity, including the effects of one particularly damaging invasive species: earthworms. >>

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Thanks to Kool 108 for spreading the word about FMR!
Have you heard the KOOL 108 Friends of the Mississippi River broadcasts? Many thanks to DJ Jeff Olsen, iHeartRadio and Comcast!

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Blazing blooms!

July and August are the most flowerful months in our native prairies and wetlands. Enjoy a few of the beauties FMR ecologists have recently come across in their field work.

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Arrowhead flowers
Volunteers plant pollinator patches aplenty

What can a small planting of milkweed and other natives really do for pollinators? More than you might think. 

Hastings Environmental Protectors and FMR teamed up to create three new pollinator patches, helping to provide much-needed habitat for a variety of insect and pollinating species in the Vermillion and Mississippi river watersheds.

 

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An FMR Vermillion Stewards volunteer plants a pollinator patch.
Endangered species recovery at FMR restoration sites

Plant and animal populations decline for many reasons — habitat loss, climate change, pollution and other factors. The Endangered Species Act was enacted in 1973 to prevent the decline and extinction of at-risk species and aid their recovery. At FMR, one of the ways we can best benefit endangered species is through the enhancement or restoration of native habitat. FMR’s many restoration sites do just that, providing much-needed habitat for both common and endangered plants and animals.

While the Endangered Species Act has benefitted countless species, we’d like to think our restorations have as well. We've spotted three endangered species — loggerhead shrike, Blanchard's cricket frog and Henslow's sparrow — at our sites so far this year! 

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A trio of endangered species recently found at FMR conservation and restoration sites.
City of Elk River earns Blue Star Award

Congratulations to the City of Elk River for earning the Blue Star Award for Excellence in Stormwater Management!

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Proposed river rules draw extensive public comment

At long last, state land-use and development rules for our local national park, the Twin Cities stretch of the Mississippi River from Dayton to Hastings, have cleared another hurdle and are on track to be formally adopted by years’ end! All told, over 300 pages of comments were submitted to the judge in charge of the final review of the new riverfront rules. Thanks to all the groups and individuals, including FMR River Protectors, who testified and submitted written comments. Your input will help to ensure the river is protected for generations to come!

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F
Mini-mystery revealed: They're caterpillar houses.

The little known, but very abundant, bagworm moth has recently emerged from the protection of the home it built and carried on its back throughout its larval-hood!

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The bagworm caterpillar is safe when left in its tiny house.

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Upcoming Events

Tuesday, June 25, 2024 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Nicollet Island, Minneapolis
New date: Saturday, August 10, 2024 at 5 p.m.
Hidden Falls Regional Park, St. Paul
Wednesday, August 14, 2024 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Pine Bend Bluffs Scientific & Natural Area, Inver Grove Heights