Shovels in the ground for three new river destinations

Illustration of Halls Island to-be

Illustration of Halls Island to-be

Three new destinations are beginning to take shape along the river north of St. Anthony Falls in Minneapolis, each with something different to offer. Coming up: a reclaimed island (image above), a destination riverfront restaurant, and one fully featured playground.  >>

November 16

A shocking, long-awaited outing — The 2017 volunteer trout survey

“It’s been three years of cancellations with high water in the river and getting rained out," said volunteer Tom Ziegler with a smile. "They [FMR] dangle this carrot when we do the buckthorn removal across the road, that if we did that job, we would get to do this event.”

Well, 2017 was finally the year. >>

November 14

Neighboring suburbs helped dry up White Bear Lake

White Bear Lake is known for shrinking during low-precipitation years.

Water levels in White Bear Lake have fallen due to excessive pumping of the aquifer below it.

As reported by the Star Tribune, new state agency findings are helping us understand the relationship between unsustainable groundwater use and White Bear Lake, one of many lakes known for "shrinking" in Minnesota.

Combined with a recent related ruling, we hope the new report will push us towards real progress to protect the Land of 10,000 Lakes' vital water resources. >>

November 14

State studies confirm: 40 percent of MN lakes and rivers are polluted

Lake Pepin along the Mississippi River, impaired for excess nutrients

The Lake Pepin-Mississippi watershed is among many that feel to meet water quality standards. (Photo courtesy of the MPCA)

In the land of 10,000 lakes, about 40 percent of Minnesota’s waters fail to meet basic health standards according to a pair of new state water quality reports — with our namesake river, the Minnesota, among the most polluted. >>

November 13

Our thoughts on the proposed new Riverview Corridor line

Riverview Transit Corridor

The Riverview Transit Corridor from downtown St. Paul to the Mall of America.

Ever wondered why you can take a train from the Mall of America to Minneapolis and Minneapolis to St. Paul, but not from St. Paul to the mall? The missing piece of this transit triangle just met an important milestone in it's planning process. Here's what we love — and what we don't — about the plans so far.

November 13

Nature Notes: Let's talk turkeys

A wild turkey displaying its feathers

A wild turkey struts his stuff.

Once on the brink of extinction in Minnesota and beyond, wild turkeys are now a common sight for Twin Cities and greater Minnesota residents alike. This November, take a minute to learn about this wild animal with an interesting history. >>

November 13

A big new prairie is on the way!

The farm field at the William H Houlton Conservation Area about to be turned into prairie

An aerial view of a prairie in progress. On the left: stubble left over from the fall soybean harvest. On the right: the half of the field worked up for broadcast seeding native prairie species.

It's not every day that FMR ecologists get to convert 180 acres of soybean and farm fields back to native prairie. Sure, we return park lawns and buckthorn thickets to prairie every year, but individual project sites rarely crack the 100-acre mark.

So we're especially excited about beginning the large-scale transformation at the William H. Houlton Conservation Area in Elk River. Check out some photos from the first steps of creating this much-needed pollinator and wildlife habitat at the confluence of the Elk and Mississippi rivers! 

November 13

Thank you, Kala and Annie!

 Annie Dubner and Kala Peebles

Annie Dubner (left) and Kala Peebles, our stellar summer 2017 intern and SuperVolunteers, about to examine milkweed plants for monarch eggs and caterpillars.

Surveying wildlife, supporting events, braving mosquitoes — Kala Peebles and Annie Dubner were indispensable and indefatigable throughout the 2017 field season. >>

November 9