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 20, 2019

We've trained a wildlife camera's eye on our turtle nest protection area in the Spring Lake Islands Wildlife Management Area near Rosemount. The camera's shots will help us find out if the nest enclosure is working to protect hatchlings. But as we dig through our footage, we're turning up some fun shots of more than just turtles.  >>

Karen Schik
September 9, 2019

A lone male rusty patched bumblebee found in August at an FMR-restored savanna represents 0.2 percent of the known population worldwide. Necessary not only for native wildflower reproduction, but also for creating seeds and fruits that feed wildlife as diverse as songbirds and bears, our state bee could use your help. >>

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.  >>

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