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.

January 1, 2020

In this piece by fall-winter 2019 intern Phuong Nguyen, she describes her favorite FMR experience: Canoeing to a small metro Mississippi island to plant 350 native trees. >>

December 17, 2019

European buckthorn (also called "common buckthorn" or just "buckthorn") is a tall, understory shrub brought to North America in the early 1800s as an ornamental shrub, primarily to serve as hedges. But this woody plant escaped from yards and landscaped areas long ago, invading forests, oak savannas and other natural areas ever since. >>

Alex Roth
December 16, 2019

As we entered the first snowfalls, FMR's contractors were busy with buckthorn removal. Here we explore some of the nuances of removal timing, including a small but important benefit of late-fall and winter removal, whether in your local natural area or your backyard: It's green and easy to see! >>

Sophie Downey
December 11, 2019

In 2019, volunteers of all ages got their hands dirty with FMR at community volunteer events. Together over 1,400 individuals gave a combined 4,916 hours of service to help protect, enhance and restore the health of the river and our local communities. We're so grateful to our amazing River Stewards! >>

sue rich
December 5, 2019

FMR ecologist and frequent conservation blog contributor Alex Roth was recently featured by KARE11 in a piece on our metro fox and coyote populations.

Although triggered by a coyote attack on an Inver Grove Heights family's beloved dog, Moose, the story referenced the Twin Cities Fox and Coyote Research Project. FMR is a proud partner for the LCCMR-funded project — and we are so glad that Moose is expected to make a full recovery! Watch the video >>

Alex Roth
November 20, 2019

We received a number of emails in response to our earlier update on FMR's wildlife habitat pile event in the river gorge. Most people seem to be excited about the idea that removing invasive species (buckthorn, in this case) could result in additional habitat creation. Others loved the idea and wanted more specific information about how to build those piles. Here we address a few questions and provide some helpful links. >>

Karen Schik
November 5, 2019

Where can you walk through a dry waterfall, find karst topography, encounter a walking fern, meet ancient bur oak trees and see the oldest operating flour mill in the state? Vermillion Falls Park in Hastings! Oh, and there's a large rushing waterfall here as well. >>

Ellen Rogers
November 2, 2019

FMR ecologist Alex Roth's earthworm research made it on the cover of the highly regarded professional journal Science at the end of October, the same journal that published the human genome for the first time.  >>

Sophie Downey
October 31, 2019

Facing a steep climb up tall stairs, FMR staff and River Gorge Stewards opted for a creative way to dispose of invasive buckthorn at a recent volunteer event along the river: create habitat piles. >> 

Alex Roth
October 31, 2019

Have you seen a coyote or fox on your Twin Cities property? If so, let us know if you'd be willing to let our research partners capture and collar these animals! It will help us understand how they're adapting to urban areas, and inform our habitat management strategies for these species. >>

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