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FMR Updates

Neighbors save River Heights Park

River Heights Park, Inver Grove Heights

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.

August 11

Conservation Benefit Variety Show for FMR!

The Historic Mounds Theater on St. Paul's East Side is hosting a conservation variety show — with belly dancing, aerials, pole dancing, acrobatics, a sword swallower and more — to celebrate World Nature Day, with proceeds benefiting Friends of the Mississippi River! 

Following the variety show will be a screening of National Geographic’s "Before the Flood," a documentary about climate change. 

FMR Advisor Deb Swackhamer stands strong before Trump's EPA

When the Environmental Protection Agency’s chief of staff pressured Deborah Swackhamer, the top scientist on the agency’s scientific review board, to alter her congressional testimony to play down President Trump's dismissal of expert advisers, Swackhamer stood strong.

We didn't think it was possible, but we are more proud than ever to have Ms. Swackhamer on FMR's Council of Advisors. Learn more from the New York Times, MPR, MSNBC and Science magazine.

July 17

FMR calls for more open space at St. Paul Ford site

The massive Ford site along the Mississippi River in St. Paul. Photo used with the permission of the Metropolitan Design Center. ©Regents of the University of Minnesota

In 2011, the last Ford Ranger rolled off the line at Ford's manufacturing campus in St. Paul. Now, plans call for the 135-acre site along the Mississippi River to be transformed into a modern riverfront community, but include far too little open space or parkland. (Photo used with the permission of the Metropolitan Design Center. ©Regents of the University of Minnesota)

Plans for this 135-acre redevelopment go to the planning commission Friday, June 30. While we're in favor of the overall vision for the site — which calls for a higher-density, transit-friendly and mixed-use neighborhood with an emphasis on sustainability — FMR is pushing the city to add more open space and working with city staff to address possible impacts on scenic river gorge views.

June 15

The river belongs to all of us. FMR's 2016 annual report.

Friends of the Mississippi River annual report

We're proud to announce FMR's 2016 Annual Report, "The river belongs to all of us."

On the heels of an especially trying legislative session, we hope you enjoy reading about our many shared advocacy, conservation and stewardship victories over the past year. From new state rules to protect our riverfront to new programs that address today's biggest source of river pollution (farm runoff), to new parks and greater understanding of the need for all communities to be able to access them, there is much to celebrate.

June 8

Environment bill becomes law: What’s in & what’s out?

The Minnesota Legislature's original environment bill was one of the most sweeping anti-environmental bills to advance at the Capitol in many years. Luckily, it was vetoed by Gov. Mark Dayton on May 12. So what made it into the final bill that the governor signed on May 30? Some rollbacks, no water quality progress, but not the worst provisions were removed during final negotiations with the Dayton administration.

June 2

Sigh... Environment bill signed. Legacy funds shifted.

We're pretty sure that when Minnesotans passed the Legacy Amendment, this isn't what they — what we — had in mind. Just signed by Gov. Mark Dayton, the environment bill shifts voter-mandated conservation funds to administrative costs. Thank you to all the River Guardians who tried to prevent this, we look forward to inviting you to happy hour soon to recap the session.

June 1

Gov. Dayton vetoes awful environmental bill! (But another is on the way.)

Friday, May 12, Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed a historically bad omnibus environment bill. It sought to give polluters the right to write their own environmental impact statements, slashed funding for environmental agencies and even prevented cities from banning plastic bags. In short, it threatened to undermine Minnesota’s long tradition of protecting the water we drink and the air we breathe. 

May 12

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