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State of the River Report 2016 media attention

FMR and our local unit of the National Park Service released the updated State of the River Report to acclaim in late September. Heralded for its approachable and engaging style, the report highlights the status and trends of 14 key indicators of river health. It was warmly received by the media, with quality coverage from local and some national news outlets.

Now, State of the River authors Trevor Russell and Lark Weller are hitting the road to present report findings to stakeholder groups across the state. And to help readers make use of the report, we’ve created three companion guides for residents, teachers and policymakers to take the most important actions to support a healthier Mississippi River. 

October 2016
Habitat restoration volunteers collecting native seed in the prairie.

A flourishing prairie. Dozens of volunteers. Fall colors. Heaps of seed collected for future restoration efforts. Many thanks to all the volunteers who helped collect native seed — and to photographer Rich Wahls for capturing such a lovely morning working for the river!

October 2016
Guests with FMR Executive Director Whitney Clark.

From left, Maya and Peter Tester, FMR Executive Director Whitney Clark, and Michelle Beeman. Photo by Anna Botz.

Thanks to more than 250 river lovers, we raised over $175,000 to protect, restore and enhance the Mississippi River in the Twin Cities at our biggest party of the year!

October 2016

When things move that shouldn’t it’s a cause for investigation. The self-seeding motions of a pile of volunteer-gathered Indiangrass seed caught this FMR ecologist by surprise.

October 2016

We are pleased to announce that Katie Sieben has joined the FMR Board of Directors. Katie grew up just steps from the Mississippi River in Newport and until recently served as a leading environmental legislator in both the Minnesota House and Senate. 

September 2016

Many of you correctly identified this month's view, which offered a lovely combination of newly restored wildlife and pollinator habitat and a great view of the urban skyline.

September 2016
A field assistant prepares to collect a nightcrawler for analysis as part of an earthworm sampling project in Minnesota forests.

A field assistant prepares to collect a nightcrawler for analysis as part of an earthworm sampling project in Minnesota forests. Photo: Alex Roth

When people think about phenology, the study of natural phenomena and cycles, they usually look up. We tend to focus on events like bud break, bird migration, leaf fall, etc. But what about the changes going on beneath our feet? Looking down once in a while may help you familiarize yourself with the buzz of activity underfoot, including the effects of one particularly damaging invasive species: earthworms.

September 2016

New land-use and development rules will better protect the Twin Cities stretch of the Mississippi River, our local national park.  

During the final phase of developing updated rules for the Mississippi River Critical Area, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources recommended a number of positive changes in response to comments from FMR staff and advocates.

September 2016

St. Paul Park refinery employees and community volunteers installed over 300 native plants at Prairie Park with FMR this summer. The planting was designed to especially benefit pollinators and serve as a demonstration prairie for homeowners interested in providing backyard habitat. Left to right: Eric Folsom, Todd Bjorgo, Dean Stockwell, Ben Joppa (FMR intern), Corb Hopkins, Kathy Schik. (Not pictured: Tom Bell.)

Two phrases not often used together are “prairie planting” and “oil refinery,” but many years ago employees at the St. Paul Park Refinery noticed a small patch of native prairie on company property and they've been taking care of it ever since. Recently, they worked with FMR to expand the natural area and also install a demonstration garden, hoping to inspire even more native plantings for pollinators.

September 2016

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