Join us for a fall hayride, hike or haul! (Heads up: Capacity is limited.)

Join us for a crisp autumn morning in the bluffs above the river Saturday, Oct. 17 in Cottage Grove or Saturday, Oct. 24 in Pine Bend Bluffs near Rosemount. Sign up for the hayride and hike, join the buckthorn hauls — or both!

After exploring and restoring river-lands not normally open to the public, we’ll celebrate our volunteer and community partners’ impact on our local wildlife and waters. Thanks to Cottage Grove partner 3M and Pine Bend partner Flint Hills Resources, there’ll be great food, raffles and other special activities. 

Hayride + Buckthorn Blast — Join one or both!
Saturday, October 17, 10:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m., followed by lunch
Cottage Grove, above the river

Thanks to the support of local volunteers and a long-term partnership with 3M, FMR has had the privilege of helping to preserve and restore a rare prairie and oak woodland area at 3M's Cottage Grove facility near the Mississippi River. Former invasive species thickets are now home to wildflowers and wildlife, and connect to adjacent natural areas to form a green corridor in southern Washington County.

Join us to help celebrate our success and continue this important restoration project!
• 8:30-10:30 a.m. We'll kick this special event off with a light breakfast followed by a prairie nature walk with FMR Lead Ecologist Karen Schik, plus a hayride! (UPDATE: The morning shift is now full.)
• 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Volunteers are needed to work with FMR Ecologist Alex Roth and River Stewardship Coordinator Adam Flett to help restore the oak woodlands by hauling pre-cut brush, primarily buckthorn, before enjoying by a catered lunch. 

No experience is required and all supplies plus plenty of gratitude will be provided. 

Learn more on the event page. Or, to register and receive directions to the meeting spot, contact FMR Event Registrar Amy Kilgore,, 651-222-2193 x31. Please let Amy know if you'd like to sign up for the hike and hayride, the buckthorn blast and lunch, or both! And include a full name, address and email address for yourself and each individual in your party.


Help Restore Pine Bend Bluffs
Saturday, October 24, 9 a.m.-noon, followed by lunch
Pine Bend, Rosemount

Join FMR, Flint Hills Resources and Great River Greening as we return to the Flint Hills property within the Pine Bend Bluffs Natural Area along the Mississippi River — one of the largest and most diverse native ecosystems left in the metro area. The site is only accessible to the public for special occasions such as this annual restoration and celebration event, and includes a sand-gravel prairie, oak savanna and oak forest. 

Working with FMR and Great River Greening ecologists and staff, volunteers will help protect these native plant communities by removing invasive species, primarily— helping to stack pre-cut buckthorn brush, —and assisting with other restoration tasks as needed. Everyone will be encouraged to work at their own comfort level and no previous experience is necessary. All tools and supplies will be provided, —including coffee, morning snacks and a hot lunch!—

Individuals, families and small groups are welcome. However, for this particular event, participants must be at least 15 years old.

Learn more and sign up via the event page! Or sign up now and receive directions to the meeting spot with FMR Event Registrar Amy Kilgore,, 651-222-2193 x31. Please provide Amy with a full name, address and email address for yourself and each individual in your party.


Can't make it?

If you can't make this event but would like to be notified of future Pine Bend or Cottage Grove restoration and education events, contact FMR Outreach & Volunteer Coordinator sue rich at, 651-222-2193 x14. Or to receive notices of all upcoming FMR activities and river news throughout the metro area, sign up for our biweekly e-newsletter Mississippi Messages.