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.

May 15, 2021

The only forest among miles of farmland in all directions, Hampton Woods WMA is a 200-acre haven for wood thrush and other woodland wildlife near the Vermillion River in Dakota County. We helped permanently protect this area in 2017, and now we're working to restore its red oak forest.  >>

Karen Schik
May 7, 2021

At the recent Pollinator Summit, our ecologists picked up a few new ideas about how to restore land with pollinators in mind, and learned more about how pollinators restore the land themselves. Read on for our take-aways on soil scouting, goat grazing, our tiniest SuperVolunteers, and the 5,000 invertebrates under your feet at every step.  >>

May 6, 2021

Forested limestone bluffs make up the only gorge on the entire length of the Mississippi River as it flows through the heart of the Twin Cities, flanked by beloved recreational parkways. Our restoration projects improve habitat in this urban oasis.  >>

Alex Roth
April 12, 2021

At Vermillion River Linear Park in Hastings, the cedars we removed from our prairie restoration became the armor of a streambank stabilization project. This revetment not only stops erosion, but will also rebuild the riverbank, creating habitat for trout and other aquatic wildlife.  >>

March 31, 2021

For Randy Miranda, volunteering every week to tend FMR's prairie restoration at Ole Olson Park near his home was a meditative way to give back and get through the pandemic. Here are Randy's reflections on why he volunteers and what we've accomplished together.  >>

March 1, 2021

A forested valley with 100-foot high slopes runs into Ravine Lake at this 515-acre park. We’ve been managing oak savanna and prairie habitat restoration here since 2012.  >>

February 2, 2021

At the stunning waterfall after which this park is named, the Vermillion River drops 35 feet, then runs through limestone gorge and forest. We've been managing habitat restoration here since 2019.  >>

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.  >>

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