The Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board has stayed strong in the face of difficult negotiations with Graco Corporation. In the end MPRB had to take the land along the river for a trail easement by eminent domain. Graco tried and failed to get something in return that would allow them to develop a portion of the adjacent property slated to become Hall’s Island Park. Instead, MPRB paid more than $600,000 for land Graco had promised to donate over a decade ago.
Ramsey County Regional Rail Authority is conducting a study of possible ways to improve public transit options within the Riverview Corridor — located between Union Depot in downtown Saint Paul and the Mall of America. While the project has the promise of greatly improving public access to the river, FMR is also concerned about the possibility of a new bridge across the Mississippi in the scenic gorge. The study, which will be completed in early 2016, will recommend a preferred route and transit mode to be studied further. Provide your input today!
Many people suffer from allergies during mid to late summer, but few know exactly what causes them. Folks usually chalk these allergies up to hay fever, and rightly so, but are all plants to blame? Goldenrod, a prolific flowering plant with masses of golden flowers, is often mistakenly blamed for causing the itchy eyes, runny nose and other symptoms that many of us suffer from. However, for most of us, ragweed is the true culprit.
There are numerous places to view the river, but two stand out far above the others.
Providing habitat. Protecting pollinators. Educating neighbors to be river-friendly. Folding letters. In the field, on the street, in the office — FMR volunteers do it all.
To all of you who have made the time to actively care for the Mighty Mississippi: THANK YOU!
We are proud to announce Friends of the Mississippi River's 2014 Annual Report, "Working Together to Protect Our River." We hope you enjoy reading about our many advocacy, conservation and stewardship victories. From the triclosan ban to increased urban access, to the protection of important natural areas and iconic river valley views, none of this work would be possible without the support of our generous donors, volunteers and friends. Thank you all for actively caring for the Mighty Mississippi, a national treasure within our midst.
Following the chaotic end of the 2015 regular legislative session, the conservation community rallied to build public support for a veto of a highly controversial environmental bill: the Omnibus Environment and Agriculture Bill.
While Governor Dayton is to be commended for his veto of the original bill, a renegotiated bill surfaced during the recent legislative special session and was passed with many of the same dirty water provisions that were in the original bill.
Overall, the Omnibus Environment and Agriculture Bill remains one of the most anti-clean-water measures to come out of the state legislature in recent memory, and includes an especially egregious repeal of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Citizens' Board.
Last month, FMR appealed the Saint Paul Planning Commission decision to grant a height variance in the confluence area because we believed it would greatly impact this significant portion of the river corridor. We are pleased that the Saint Paul City Council decreased the building height variance to allow a 60 foot building instead of a 73.5 foot building — a 13.5 foot decrease.
On May 27, 2015, the Obama Administration released an update to the Clean Water Act called the Clean Water Rule or the Waters of the U.S. Rule. The rule will better protect water quality, aquatic life and clean drinking water for 1 in 5 Minnesotans by more clearly outlining which streams, lakes and wetlands are protected under the Clean Water Act.
The closing of Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock is good news for Minnesotans. It will help ensure that invasive carp are not able to migrate upstream of downtown Minneapolis. Unfortunately, last week’s good news for the Mississippi was mired by the bad news about Bighead carp arriving in bigger numbers in the St. Croix River as far north as Stillwater.