Many FMR supporters recognized this spot and the ruins of the first and northernmost lock and dam on the Mississippi River where St. Paul meets Minneapolis. >>
The paired, bright red berries of bush honeysuckles are easy to spot in the fall. Unfortunately, their beauty belies some serious negative effects on our feathered friends.
Each fall, two common invasive plants produce starkly colored berries: European buckthorn bears shiny jet-black fruit while bush honeysuckle produces brilliant red to yellow berries. Unfortunately, birds that dine on the fruit not only spread the invasives' seed but are negatively impacted by the berries themselves — they can even disrupt some birds' mating patterns! >>
Water levels in White Bear Lake have fallen due to excessive pumping from the aquifer underneath the lake.
In a sweeping order, Ramsey County Judge Margaret Marrinan faulted the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for authorizing unsustainable groundwater pumping; depleting the aquifer and artificially lowering water levels in White Bear Lake. The ruling could have widespread implications for groundwater management in Minnesota.
We asked readers what inspires them to reflect upon the river and received a wide range of thoughtful and beautifully written responses. May you enjoy their poems and stories as much as we did!
This issue features works by Ellen Fee, Chelsi Kahl, Jim Larson, Christine Bronk, Linda Moua, Margie O'Laughlin, Sarah Degner Riveros, Willow Thompson and Justin Florey. >>
Looking for a place to direct friends or family interested in advocating for the river, check out our new River Guardians page. You can take action, check out previous action alerts and FMR's advocacy letters on behalf of members, and see a map (soon to be interactive!) of FMR's current advocacy projects.
And, of course, if you haven't already, you can sign up to be an FMR River Guardian.
Part of our local national park — River Heights Park in Inver Grove Heights — is no longer slated to be turned into lots for private homes.
The city of Inver Grove Heights was considering selling River Heights Park, part of our local Mississippi River national park, for housing. But neighbors stepped up to defend it, and with a little support from FMR, the park has been preserved!
Inver Grove Heights is a valued FMR habitat restoration partner and we look forward to continuing our work together.
Ever wonder what keeps FMR ecologists up at night? Buckthorn and crown vetch may have pretty glossy leaves or flowers, but for anyone who cares about wildlife, they're a serious threat to forest and prairie habitat in the metro river corridor.
Join FMR ecologist Alex Roth for a walk through our most common invasives: buckthorn, bush honeysuckle, garlic mustard, burdock, spotted knapweed and crown vetch. Along the way, you'll learn why they matter and how to identify and remove them in your own back yard. All in two minutes!
Thank you Tom Reiter and Will Stock for creating this wonderful video!
The aptly named hummingbird moth or clearwing moth is not uncommon, but with its beautiful colors and wing patterns, it's a delight to see one hovering over flowers seeking nectar.
"Lonesome Whistle" (the photo above) inspired a surprising diversity of prose and poetry for the summer 2017 edition of Write to the River. Enjoy flash tales of near-misses, tense crossings, goddesses in sandstone cliffs, fond recollections and a prayer from the Big River itself.
Thank you, authors and poets Jim Larson, Captain Bob Deck, Winnie Martin, Connie Baker and Judie Erickson!
In the heart of Dakota County, surrounded by farm fields, rises Hampton Woods. The only forest for miles in all directions, the woods provides critical habitat for forest-dwelling animals, especially birds.
Thanks to an FMR partnership with local landowners, Dakota County and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 191 acres of Hampton Woods has been permanently protected and is now open to the public as a wildlife management area. Check it out, and enjoy the hawk's eye view!