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.
A rendering of the proposed Saint Paul River Balcony from the Great River Passage Plan.
On September 24, Saint Paul Mayor Coleman presented the city's latest vision to improve the connections between the Mississippi River and downtown Saint Paul while improving the parkland and connections along the river between the Science Museum and the Union Depot.
We received several correct responses this month, and a couple of them provided some history about this special place on the river.
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016, FMR is making a documentary about our very own national park, the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. The film tells the story of the effort to get Congress to designate the park, explores the meaning of this legacy, and stresses the need for continued stewardship and advocacy on the park's behalf. Check it out!