Are you an educator or youth program coordinator looking for a free one-hour, interactive water quality program for your class or group? In addition to our popular outdoor outings, FMR offers many indoor water-related activities perfect for this time of year. All are taught by FMR staff, include a hands-on activity or game, and are designed to meet state standards. Plus, thanks to our generous funders, they're free.
Students at Dowling Urban Environmental Magnet School in Minneapolis use a model and spray bottle to simulate the role of rain in the Mississippi River watershed.
DuPont's 30-million gallon per year cellulosic ethanol plant in Nevada, Iowa. Source: http://www.biofuelsdigest.com
DuPont recently announced the opening of the world's largest cellulosic biofuel facility in Nevada, Iowa. The plant, which uses corn stover (the stems, stalks, leaves and husks of the corn plant) to produce ethanol, aims to produce approximately 30 million gallons of fuel per year. And it might not be good news.
The "Big Five" Wastewater Treatment Plants in the metro area are included in a single "umbrella" pollution permit currently being challenged in court for failing to properly protect the Mississippi River and Lake Pepin.
FMR, along with our friends at Clean Up the River Environment (CURE) and the Lake Pepin Legacy Alliance, will soon file an amicus brief in support of a recent lawsuit charging the state with failing to adequately control pollution to the Mississippi River. The lawsuit, filed by the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA), faults the state for doing too little to protect the Mississippi River and Lake Pepin, and calls into question the state's plan to allow the "big five" metro-area wastewater treatment plants to increase their phosphorus pollution into the Mississippi River and Lake Pepin by 35%.
As the outdoor volunteer season comes to a close, we stand in awe of our river stewards' accomplishments. In 2015, some 3,637 people — individuals, families, church, school and neighborhood groups — came together from throughout the metro area to help the Mississippi River at 135 FMR volunteer events. Together they stenciled over 3,000 storm drains with educational messages helping residents connect their yards and streets to our local waters, removed over a thousand bags of invasive species from local parks and natural areas, removed litter from over 20 riverfront sites and installed native prairies and raingardens at six riverfront parks. At the end of our busiest restoration season on record, our community's ability to act on behalf of our local waters and wildlife continues to amaze us.
Architect rendition of the planned West Side Flats phase 3 development. Image source: Sherman Associates
An exciting new riverfront development project planned for Saint Paul's West Side Flats will add commercial space with a strong pedestrian connection to the river esplanade, plus market rate and affordable housing.
Only one response to the November photo - perhaps due to the lovely weather we're having?
A layer of green on an otherwise gray and brown backdrop is evidence of buckthorn’s distinctive phenology.
It’s finally (or already!) November and the leaves have fallen from the trees. Well, not quite all of them. If you take a close look at a nearby forest, you’ll likely notice a dense layer of green still present in the shrub layer. What are these shrubs and why are they still green when other species have all dropped their leaves? In and around the Twin Cities, it’s a good bet that these shrubs are either common buckthorn or one of a few species of bush honeysuckles, and their “distinctive phenology” actually plays a large part in their success in Minnesota’s forest ecosystems.
Milkweed seeds ready to be scattered by the wind. Photo by Tom Lewanski
A plant must move for its kind to survive.
Groups of all ages can stencil with FMR! Here Metro State Upward Bound students stenciled in an area with a great view of downtown Saint Paul.
Thank you to all of our wonderful 2015 stenciling volunteers! Stenciling is an effective way to spread the message that anything that goes down that storm drain ends up in the Mississippi River. Thanks to our volunteers of all ages who helped stencil, from public and corporate groups to middle schoolers, we have exceeded our goals for the year.
Buffers of perennial vegetation help protect Minnesota's land, water, and wildlife
One of FMR's top priorities during this year's legislative session was passage of Governor Dayton's much-discussed Buffer Initiative. While a substantially revised (and watered-down) version of Governor Dayton's proposal did become law, implementation of the law will be critical to its success.