Conservation and Restoration Blog

FMR works with landowners, government agencies and concerned residents — including hundreds of volunteers — to protect and restore bluffs, prairies, forests and other lands important to our communities and the health of our metro Mississippi.

Here's what our conservation staff are currently working on and encountering in the field.

A map of our protection and restoration sites is available here, as well as more information about our approach and program.

Conservation updates are also shared on social media (Facebook and Twitter) and in our Mississippi Messages newsletter.

Karen Schik
January 29, 2021

In the past few years, news of the decline of insect populations has raised alarm bells. Experts say the world is losing around 1 to 2 percent of its insects each year. By now, most people know pollinators are vital to making about a third of our food supply. But what about all the other insects — does this overall population decrease matter?  >>

Ellie Rogers
December 31, 2020

When FMR volunteers remove buckthorn, we're making way for native plants to reestablish critical habitat. In a new research paper, following up by planting native plants seems to show another benefit: Buckthorn has a harder time making a comeback.  >>

Colleen O'Connor Toberman
December 23, 2020

Through January 18, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is seeking public comment on its draft Parks for All comprehensive plan, which will guide the park board for the next ten years. Review FMR's recommendations for the plan and learn how to submit your own.  >>

Karen Schik
December 14, 2020

Entertaining and adorable as they are, goats have found a serious and fitting profession in the ecological management world: consuming as much buckthorn and other invasive woody plants as possible. See how successful our crew was at Hampton Woods and learn more about this increasingly popular restoration method.  >>

Alex Roth
November 10, 2020

It's hard to overstate the importance of Indian Mounds Regional Park. Situated atop the bluff just east of downtown St. Paul, the park harbors a wealth of cultural, historical and ecological significance. The park is also unique in that it's where three of FMR’s programs — land conservation, stewardship and youth engagement — converge.  >>

Betsy Daub
October 16, 2020

For 33 years, Dave Zumeta has kept meticulous lists of the birds he's seen in the Mississippi River Gorge, a band of habitat FMR works to restore that is critical for migrators on the flyway. These lists have become a valuable tool to help us track the health of our river habitat. Learn more about Dave's surprising findings, troubling and encouraging trends.  >>

Karen Schik
September 22, 2020

We're thrilled that an FMR restoration site, a local woodland once choked with European buckthorn, now supports the rusty patched bumblebee, a federally endangered species. >>

Karen Schik
September 7, 2020

Our summer intern Michaela Hackbarth reflects on the gray catbird's call, how field work requires great people skills, and the expansive feeling at FMR habitat restoration sites.  >>

Ellie Rogers
September 7, 2020

How are wild canids adapting to urban areas? Help researchers find out more this fall and winter, get a project update from the first field season, and learn how to identify and differentiate gray foxes, red foxes and coyotes with our guide, so you can record your sightings.  >>

Alex Roth
September 4, 2020

The Star Tribune recently covered the island-building project at Pig's Eye Lake in East Side St. Paul's riverfront park. As our executive director Whitney Clark stated in the article, FMR supports the project overall, and would also like to see project planners "really consider including climate-adaptive species and use this opportunity to understand more about habitat restoration in the era of climate change."  >>

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