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. >>
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.
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. >>
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. >>
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. >>
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! >>
For some in the do-it-yourself crowd, wreath-making has become a fun way to create holiday decor. This past December, FMR and two local artists put a unique spin on this DIY theme, hosting an open studio wreath-making event with one big twist… we used invasive buckthorn. >>
Each fall, two common invasive plants produce starkly colored berries: European buckthorn bears shiny jet-black fruit while bush honeysuckle produces brilliant red to yellow berries. Unfortunately, birds that dine on the fruit not only spread the invasives' seed but are negatively impacted by the berries themselves — they can even disrupt some birds' mating patterns! >>
Of the 18,000 species of ants, bees and wasps in North America, the pelecinid wasp is among the most interesting. This insect is so unusual it shares its family (Pelecinidae) with just three other species in the world, with no others in North America. But don't worry, that 'stinger' isn't what it looks like. >>
Fans of The Lord of the Rings will recognize this query of Gollum, the odd underworld creature, as he pondered the riddle of Bilbo’s pocket contents. This month's conservation star is also a creature of the underworld, seldom seen above ground. And like Gollum, these animals have a lead role in the world they inhabit. >>
When people think about natural seasonal changes, we usually look up — bud break, bird migration, leaf change, etc. But what about the natural world under our feet? There's a buzz of activity, including the effects of one particularly damaging invasive species: earthworms. >>