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.

Ellen Rogers
September 6, 2019

Fall brings chances to spot monarch roosts — dozens of butterflies gathering together on their migration south. FMR ecologist Karen Schik found hundreds earlier this week and sent these videos back from a visit to our prairie restoration at Flint Hills Resources in Inver Grove Heights. >>

Betsy Daub
September 5, 2019

As anyone who's joined FMR at a restoration volunteer event knows, buckthorn is particularly difficult to eradicate. This invasive plant often thwarts restoration efforts by returning to sites where it's been pulled and hauled away. What if we could find a way to suppress its regrowth?  >>

sue rich
August 29, 2019

Don't be fooled. Known for its striking gray-blue and white coloring and stunning, sweet song, this small songbird is also a fearsome killer.

The loggerhead shrike spikes small lizards on thorns and stakes mice on barbed wire. It's a rare prairie predator — now endangered in Minnesota — and a positive sign for habitat. That's why we're delighted to have loggerhead shrikes at two FMR-protected and restored sites. >>

Alex Roth
August 18, 2019

In the world of ecological restoration, changes don't happen overnight. And sometimes, to create a thriving and diverse habitat for wildlife and for water quality, things get a little messier (or even uglier) before they get better. Take the long view with us and check out these before, during and after photos of a few of our restoration projects. >>

Alex Roth
July 7, 2019

Akia Vang, our Green Team Alumni summer intern, woke up early to survey breeding birds and stayed late to assist at volunteer planting events. Akia stayed busy during his two short weeks with us.  >>

Alex Roth
June 7, 2019

Three Rivers Park District's new podcast, The Wandering Naturalist, covers fun Minnesota ecology topics from tracking owls to maple syruping. In this episode, FMR ecologist Alex Roth joined the conversation about the effects of invasive buckthorn and earthworms on Minnesota's wildflowers. >>

Betsy Daub
May 7, 2019

The City of Cottage Grove has the opportunity to turn an old golf course into open space for wildlife and a recreational park for residents and visitors in an area lacking in river access. Here are our top reasons why we should protect this special place from development.  >>

Karen Schik
April 21, 2019

One member of the weasel family, the fisher, is more commonly a denizen of Minnesota's north woods than our metro woodlands. Finding a fisher recently at Spring Lake Park Reserve in Dakota County was a rare treat.  >>

Karen Schik
March 6, 2019

Though we certainly don’t live in a tropical climate, our state is home to almost 50 native orchids. If you need a reprieve from the muted winter palette, check out our vivid photos of blooming orchids and learn more about some of Minnesota's loveliest plants.  >>

Alex Roth
February 19, 2019

Coyotes and foxes are mostly secretive animals, but sightings of these species are becoming more and more common throughout the Twin Cities Metro Area. Now, a group of researchers and partner organizations (including FMR) are setting out to better understand how these critters use the urban environment, and maybe just dispel some myths along the way. You can help!  >>

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