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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
The massive Upper Harbor Terminal site along the Mississippi River in North Minneapolis.

Located roughly two miles north of downtown between the Lowry and Camden bridges, the city-owned Upper Harbor Terminal site is the largest remaining single-owner development opportunity along the river in Minneapolis.

Affordable housing. Parks and trails. A 10,000-seat riverfront amphitheater. A business incubator. All have been suggested as part of the redevelopment of the long-closed port of Minneapolis, the 48-acre Upper Harbor Terminal site in North Minneapolis. Come learn about the options and weigh in on what you'd like to see at a series of community meetings late-June through September. 

June 2017
Thank you, beaver!

FMR ecologists were surprised to find that many of the trees we'd planned to remove at a North Minneapolis riverfront restoration site were taken care of by an anonymous, furry volunteer. (Photo courtesy Mississippi State Extension office as we were unable to catch her or him in the act.)

With the second phase of native prairie restoration set to begin at Ole Olson Park along the North Minneapolis riverfront, FMR is grateful for the help of an unlikely partner.

June 2017
giant stonefly 1.6 inches long

FMR volunteer Maggie Heisterkamp was surprised to recently find this giant stonefly on the Robert Street lift bridge.

This surprise visitor to the Robert Street lift bridge is commonly found in trout streams and is considered an indicator of good water quality.

June 2017
Whitney Clark

FMR is proud to announce that our very own executive director, Whitney Clark, won the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits' 2017 Transformational Leader Award. 

Whitney has often expressed that he strongly relates to E.B. White’s comment, “I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world.” But to his friends and colleagues, these appear to be one and the same. 

Our metro Mississippi River and its communities would not be what they are today without your leadership. Congrats, Whitney! 

June 2017
Friends of the Mississippi River annual report

We're proud to announce FMR's 2016 Annual Report, "The river belongs to all of us."

On the heels of an especially trying legislative session, we hope you enjoy reading about our many shared advocacy, conservation and stewardship victories over the past year. From new state rules to protect our riverfront to new programs that address today's biggest source of river pollution (farm runoff), to new parks and greater understanding of the need for all communities to be able to access them, there is much to celebrate.

June 2017

While the 2017 Minnesota legislative session didn’t go as well as we hoped — we failed to make any meaningful progress on water quality — we can say for certain that the final bills were a great improvement over those originally vetoed by Gov. Mark Dayton. 

Thank you FMR River Guardians, Water Action Day participants and everyone who joined in our efforts to stand up for clean water this session! 

Learn more from our Legislative Updates blog and join us for happy hour, Tuesday, June 27 to recap the session with the FMR Capitol Crew and discuss what's next.

June 2017

The Minnesota Legislature's original environment bill was one of the most sweeping anti-environmental bills to advance at the Capitol in many years. Luckily, it was vetoed by Gov. Mark Dayton on May 12. So what made it into the final bill that the governor signed on May 30? Some rollbacks, no water quality progress, but not the worst provisions were removed during final negotiations with the Dayton administration.

June 2017

We're pretty sure that when Minnesotans passed the Legacy Amendment, this isn't what they — what we — had in mind. Just signed by Gov. Mark Dayton, the environment bill shifts voter-mandated conservation funds to administrative costs. Thank you to all the River Guardians who tried to prevent this, we look forward to inviting you to happy hour soon to recap the session.

June 2017

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