After a summer of planning, restoration is in full swing at Ole Olson Park. So far, the transformation at the site north of downtown Minneapolis has been dramatic. Restoration will continue in 2016 with the installation of roughly two acres of native prairie.
Thank you once again to our dedicated, enthusiastic volunteers! We had a record breaking year and couldn't have done it without you! Take a minute to check out our Best of 2015 Flickr photo album for a glimps of our year in review. We are working away to get the volunteer event schedule for 2016 set and hope to see many new and familiar faces at our upcoming events. FMR would also like to extend our thanks and gratitude to all of our event partners, sponsors and contributing members who help make these events possible.
A red-backed vole. Source: D. Gordon E. Robertson, via Wikimedia Commons.
Not even a...vole? An evening visit to the compost bin turns into a deadly encounter with a native rodent.
We had two correct responses to last month's view of the iconic High Bridge in St. Paul, each with a very nice description. Cheers to Brian Nerbonne and Tom Schuster! And thanks for the commuting tip.
FMR is seeking a part-time Outreach & Development Assistant to support our public engagement and fundraising work. If you're organized, efficient, flexible and love the Big River, we want to hear from you! Applications are due January 25, 2016.
Students at Dowling Urban Environmental Magnet School in Minneapolis use a model and spray bottle to simulate the role of rain in the Mississippi River watershed.
Are you an educator or youth program coordinator looking for a free, interactive water quality program for your class or group? In addition to our popular outdoor outings, FMR offers many lessons focused on river topics. Lessons are available virtually, online and in-person. All are taught by FMR staff, include an activity, game or demonstration, and are designed to meet state standards. Plus, thanks to our generous funders, they're free.
DuPont's 30-million gallon per year cellulosic ethanol plant in Nevada, Iowa. Source: http://www.biofuelsdigest.com
DuPont recently announced the opening of the world's largest cellulosic biofuel facility in Nevada, Iowa. The plant, which uses corn stover (the stems, stalks, leaves and husks of the corn plant) to produce ethanol, aims to produce approximately 30 million gallons of fuel per year. And it might not be good news.
The "Big Five" Wastewater Treatment Plants in the metro area are included in a single "umbrella" pollution permit currently being challenged in court for failing to properly protect the Mississippi River and Lake Pepin.
FMR, along with our friends at Clean Up the River Environment (CURE) and the Lake Pepin Legacy Alliance, will soon file an amicus brief in support of a recent lawsuit charging the state with failing to adequately control pollution to the Mississippi River. The lawsuit, filed by the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA), faults the state for doing too little to protect the Mississippi River and Lake Pepin, and calls into question the state's plan to allow the "big five" metro-area wastewater treatment plants to increase their phosphorus pollution into the Mississippi River and Lake Pepin by 35%.
As the outdoor volunteer season comes to a close, we stand in awe of our river stewards' accomplishments. In 2015, some 3,637 people — individuals, families, church, school and neighborhood groups — came together from throughout the metro area to help the Mississippi River at 135 FMR volunteer events. Together they stenciled over 3,000 storm drains with educational messages helping residents connect their yards and streets to our local waters, removed over a thousand bags of invasive species from local parks and natural areas, removed litter from over 20 riverfront sites and installed native prairies and raingardens at six riverfront parks. At the end of our busiest restoration season on record, our community's ability to act on behalf of our local waters and wildlife continues to amaze us.
Architect rendition of the planned West Side Flats phase 3 development. Image source: Sherman Associates
An exciting new riverfront development project planned for Saint Paul's West Side Flats will add commercial space with a strong pedestrian connection to the river esplanade, plus market rate and affordable housing.