As dusk approaches on a cold winter night, Twin Cities residents may notice an unusual number of crows flying overhead. Each winter, they show up by the thousands to roost in metro neighborhoods. While the gatherings may seem ominous to some, they serve an important purpose for these intelligent birds.
"Morning Color" by Tom Reiter, taken February 15, 2017 at Pine Bend Bluffs Scientific and Natural Area, a beloved natural area that FMR helped to permanently protect several years ago and which we continue to restore and manage for ecological health. This expansive view features a partially frozen, meandering Mississippi River reflecting vivid hues of the daybreak sky. Leafless shrubs extend their branches from the riverbank.
Have you ever felt inspired by the Mississippi? You're not alone. America's River has shaped the metro area both physically and culturally, inciting creative works for as long as us humans have been around.
Now FMR wants to know: What does the Mississippi River mean to you? Sharpen your creative writing pencils, we're launching 'Write to the River,' a new project to feature "Mississippi Messages" readers' works inspired by our great river.
We're kicking off this new project with a call for prose or poetry inspired by the photo above, "Morning Color" over Pine Bend Scientific & Natural Area by Tom Reiter.
Under H.F. 551, the MPCA and DNR would no longer have any rulemaking authority and all their existing rules would expire by 2022 unless the Minnesota legislature chose to enact them. The bill likely precedes others that will seek to give the legislature veto power over agency rulemaking, a move that will deny the public a voice in regulatory decisions.
In 2011, the last Ford Ranger rolled off the line at Ford's manufacturing campus in St. Paul. With buildings demolished and environmental remediation in the works, the 135-acre site along the Mississippi River will be transformed into a modern riverfront community. (All images courtesy of St. Paul and Goff Public)
Recently, the city of St. Paul unveiled draft plans to redevelop the Ford Plant site along the Mississippi River. Pictured above in its truck-making days, the 135-acre campus is now clear of structures with plans for a new 21st-century riverfront community in the works.
Mist rises from the Mississippi just east of downtown St. Paul on a cold December dawn.
Ever wonder why there's a wintry mist on the water in the morning, but not later in the day? Even when it's still quite cold?
This massive ragweed plant is no match for Clare Tipler, the senior from St. Paul Academy who contributed the article below about her experience with FMR field trips. Clare and her class removed invasives from Crosby Park in St. Paul (above), educated their neighbors about river pollution and became citizen scientists for the Mississippi River.
High school senior Clare Tipler shares her adventures working with FMR and her environmental studies class and the surprising lessons learned along the way.
Our local national park, the Twin Cities stretch of the Mississippi River, is now protected by FMR-prompted state rules. (Photo by Jim Hudak)
At long last, new State of Minnesota rules are now in place governing land use and development along the metro stretch of the Mississippi River, a.k.a. our local national park! While allowing for growth and redevelopment, the new rules protect the metro riverfront's natural, scenic and cultural treasures.
Minnesota was the first state to ban triclosan in hand soaps and body washes. Originally billed as an antibacterial, the chemical broke down into cancer-causing dioxins in the Mississippi River and proved to be ineffective compared to washing with plain soap and water.
In a major victory for water quality and public health, the 2014 legislature made Minnesota the first state in the nation to prohibit the sale of triclosan in consumer hand and body washes. FMR spearheaded the initiative after learning that triclosan from consumer products was turning into dioxins or cancer-causing chemicals in the river. We proudly look forward to the law taking effect January 1, 2017!
We received two responses to this month's glorious fall photo of the largest intact prairie in the Twin Cities area.
A number of Mississippi Messages readers have contacted us since the leaves fell from the trees about a new building on the river located just north of Minneapolis' Lake Street bridge. We investigated and have some answers, as well as several related questions and concerns.