Latest News

Ever wonder what keeps FMR ecologists up at night? Buckthorn and crown vetch may have pretty glossy leaves or flowers, but for anyone who cares about wildlife, they're a serious threat to forest and prairie habitat in the metro river corridor.

Join FMR ecologist Alex Roth for a walk through our most common invasives: buckthorn, bush honeysuckle, garlic mustard, burdock, spotted knapweed and crown vetch. Along the way, you'll learn why they matter and how to identify and remove them in your own back yard. All in two minutes!

Thank you Tom Reiter and Will Stock for creating this wonderful video!

August 2017

The aptly named hummingbird moth or clearwing moth is not uncommon, but with its beautiful colors and wing patterns, it's a delight to see one hovering over flowers seeking nectar.

August 2017

"Lonesome Whistle" (the photo above) inspired a surprising diversity of prose and poetry for the summer 2017 edition of Write to the River. Enjoy flash tales of near-misses, tense crossings, goddesses in sandstone cliffs, fond recollections and a prayer from the Big River itself.

Thank you, authors and poets Jim Larson, Captain Bob Deck, Winnie Martin, Connie Baker and Judie Erickson!

July 2017

In the heart of Dakota County, surrounded by farm fields, rises Hampton Woods. The only forest for miles in all directions, the woods provides critical habitat for forest-dwelling animals, especially birds.

Thanks to an FMR partnership with local landowners, Dakota County and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 191 acres of Hampton Woods has been permanently protected and is now open to the public as a wildlife management area. Check it out, and enjoy the hawk's eye view!

July 2017
Harding High Earth Club

Chao Xiong (left) and Aliya Mohamed (right) enjoy giving back to their community by preserving the river.

We're so excited that the Harding High Earth Club is on the cover of this month's Hmong Times for their work with FMR! These young citizen scientists and habitat restorers have been essential to our work at Indian Mounds Regional Park and at the riverfront forest below it in East St. Paul. 

July 2017
Matt Cook and John Czyscon

Matt Cook (left) and John Czyscon (right) 

FMR is delighted to welcome communications intern Matt Cook and development associate John Czyscon to the FMR family!

July 2017

When the Environmental Protection Agency’s chief of staff pressured Deborah Swackhamer, the top scientist on the agency’s scientific review board, to alter her congressional testimony to play down President Trump's dismissal of expert advisers, Swackhamer stood strong.

We didn't think it was possible, but we are more proud than ever to have Ms. Swackhamer on FMR's Council of Advisors. Learn more from the New York Times, MPR, MSNBC and Science magazine.

July 2017
Check out that pointy abdomen!

As young bees and wasps mature, you're more likely to spot this unusual pollinator: a pelecinid.
Photo by Kristin Lee, Creative Commons license

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.

July 2017
Tecla Karpen and students in "Karpen Woods"

Tecla Karpen and local Hastings students helping to restore "Karpen Woods" on the blufftop.

Local conservation hero, educator and environmental advocate Tecla Rose Karpen passed away in late May.

I first met Tecla in 1999 during a visit to her bluffland home along the Mississippi River in Hastings. As the relatively new conservation director at FMR, I was spending a lot of time out of the office meeting landowners and trying to understand the lay of the land. Tecla was one of the first.

June 2017
The massive Ford site along the Mississippi River in St. Paul. Photo used with the permission of the Metropolitan Design Center. ©Regents of the University of Minnesota

In 2011, the last Ford Ranger rolled off the line at Ford's manufacturing campus in St. Paul. Now, plans call for the 135-acre site along the Mississippi River to be transformed into a modern riverfront community, but include far too little open space or parkland. (Photo used with the permission of the Metropolitan Design Center. ©Regents of the University of Minnesota)

Plans for this 135-acre redevelopment go to the planning commission Friday, June 30. While we're in favor of the overall vision for the site — which calls for a higher-density, transit-friendly and mixed-use neighborhood with an emphasis on sustainability — FMR is pushing the city to add more open space and working with city staff to address possible impacts on scenic river gorge views.

June 2017

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