Land Conservation: Restoring

The health of the Mississippi River is greatly influenced by the land that surrounds it. Natural areas in the watershed filter stormwater runoff, provide flood control and water storage, and offer habitat for both resident and migratory animals.

To increase the biological diversity of these natural areas or in many cases, totally recreate them, we must mimic or return the natural processes that maintained these systems.

FMR has worked with many landowners to enhance existing natural areas by controlling invasive plant species, adding native seeds and plants and reintroducing natural disturbances like fire and grazing. We have also restored many areas where natural communities had been removed, such as agricultural fields or former industrial sites.

The overall goal for our restoration efforts is to recreate, as much as possible, the natural communities that existed at the site prior to European colonization. While we often include restoration steps meant to benefit specific species or natural communities, our restoration efforts largely focus on overall habitat improvements to benefit wildlife, water quality, and human uses.

FMR ecologists lead our restoration and enhancement efforts. They conduct ecological surveys, develop Natural Resource Management Plans, determine the exact activities and treatments needed to restore sites, hire contractors and work with volunteers to implement these restoration steps and monitor and evaluate these activities.

Our protection and restoration sites

FMR maintains over three dozen habitat restoration and land protection sites in the metro area.

Documenting our impact, contributing to our field

Our ecological research and monitoring surveys document the connection between our habitat restoration work and the plants and animals it's meant to support. We share our findings in journals and other forums to support the advancement of habitat restoration techniques and approaches.

If you have any questions about our restoration approach (including our chemical use policy), contact FMR Conservation Director Alex Roth,

Upcoming Events

Saturday, April 20 - 9:30 AM to Noon
West River Parkway and 36th Street/44th Street, Minneapolis
Applications due Friday, May 3 by 5 p.m.
Virtual and in-person
Wednesday, May 8, 2024 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Hampton Woods Wildlife Management Area