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FMR Updates

Oct. 18 get 20% off and learn about river-conscious shopping at Patagonia!

Come out to Patagonia’s St. Paul location and enjoy a special 20-percent discount extended to our valued FMR members. 

In addition to enjoying storewide savings, learn more about Patagonia’s emerging research, efforts and products to help reduce water pollution from tiny fibers, which often originate from synthetic textiles. Learn what you can do to reduce microplastics in our waterways and make eco-conscious decisions as we begin the holiday shopping season.

If you're not a member yet, you can contribute at any giving level to help protect, restore and enhance the Mississippi River and enjoy our member benefits throughout the year ahead. 

An Evening Celebrating the Mississippi River

Join us to celebrate the Mississippi in the midst of its fall splendor, Thursday, September 28. From our beautiful venue on the river, we'll toast to you and the recent successes you made possible.

Guests will hear from keynote speaker, Dr. Dorceta Taylor, one of the country's preeminent environmental justice scholars. Dr. Taylor, who says her work is about opening doors for other people by making the environmental movement more diverse, will talk about the intersection of environmental history, politics and justice, and what we can all do to make our special, natural places more inclusive. 

Additionally, the evening will feature an entertaining river-themed live auction, the renown Davu Seru Trio, and hearty local fare and refreshments — including a just-for-FMR signature cocktail.

Learn more on the event page!

St. Paul approves Ford site plans without additional parkland

Ford site

Although FMR supports the overall plans for the Ford site — the 135-acre site along the Mississippi River to be transformed into a modern riverfront community — we're disappointed the city declined to add more river-bluff parkland. (Photo used with the permission of the Metropolitan Design Center. ©Regents of the University of Minnesota)

This September, the St. Paul City Council approved the zoning plan for the Ford site, giving the go-ahead to redevelop the 135-acre river-bluff site without requiring additional parkland. But our efforts to expand nearby blufftop parks and address the toxic dump in the floodplain below aren't over yet. >> 

October 15

What's it like to walk to the river in north Minneapolis?

The river is just a few blocks away but it may as well be miles. But community members, FMR and our Northside partners are working to change that. (Photo courtesy of Blue Cross Blue Shield.)

What's it like to walk to the river along Dowling Avenue North in Minneapolis? Harsh, inspiring and beautiful are all words that were used when we joined neighbors in lacing up our walking shoes and heading to the river on two warm September evenings.

With great change on the horizon for where Dowling meets the Mississippi (new riverfront parkland!), we walked and talked and imagined the possibilities. We'd hoped that bringing people to these spaces would spark interest in advocating for improved public access to the riverfront and we were not disappointed. We hope you'll join us too!

October 10

Fall is for the squirrels

Gray squirrel feeding on a tree branch

'Tis the season for gray squirrels to fatten up.

Each year, the cool fall weather is accompanied by a flurry of wildlife activity. Most species are busy preparing for the winter — gathering and storing food, prepping their nests and burrows, and putting on a few extra pounds. In the Twin Cities, no animal is a better example of this than the gray squirrel.

While many residents consider them a bit of a nuisance — chattering from the trees, darting across streets, and leaving piles of chewed food on decks and sidewalks — these smart little critters have an interesting history and impressive adaptations that allow them to flourish in our human-dominated landscape. >>

October 9

Volunteers help scientists gather critical data about monarch butterflies

Volunteer-bred monarch

Monarchs face a complex array of threats, but volunteers are acquiring much-needed data to help the embattled species survive.

Through heat, rain and mosquitos, eight dedicated FMR volunteers surveyed a patch of milkweed plants throughout the summer, hunting for the eggs and larvae of monarch butterflies. Their efforts, combined with hundreds of others', help researchers better understand the complex ecological needs of our iconic, declining monarchs. >>

October 9

Check out our first mural for water quality!

Saint Paul's first storm-drain mural!

FMR worked closely with neighborhood groups and local artist Gustavo Lira to design St. Paul's first storm-drain mural. The koi fish represents Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, the music notes Como Dockside and the snapping turtle Como Lake.

When you think of a storm drain, what do you see? The concrete of the street, perhaps a metal grate. How about a pathway to our local lakes or the Mighty Mississippi? Or a large beautiful painting that helps illustrate this connection with our local waters?

Now you can check out such a work of art along Como Lake in St. Paul. The result of an 18-month collaborative partnership, the new mural is the first of its kind in St. Paul, possibly in the metro. >>

October 7

'Getting to Green: Saving Nature: A Bipartisan Solution'

It wasn’t that long ago that conservation and protecting the environment were bipartisan priorities at the Minnesota legislature and in Congress. Why did that change? What can we do to bring Minnesotans together around clean air, clean water and conservation?

Please join FMR and our friends at Conservation Minnesota for an evening with the author of Getting to Green: Saving Nature: A Bipartisan Solution, Frederic C. Rich. 

Ford site hearing Sept. 20 & 27 — FMR says 'yes' to density AND more parks!

Popular stormwater feature

A new stormwater "stream" is a popular feature of redevelopment plans for the Ford site (see rendering above), but we should also seize this rare opportunity to create more river bluff parkland.

Opportunities to create bluff-top parkland in the heart of a growing city only come along every two or three generations. As draft plans for the Ford site redevelopment along the Mississippi River head to the St. Paul city council, we urge city leaders to seize this opportunity for the benefit of this generation and all those to come.

September 13

Downtown St. Paul riverfront development plans fall through

West Publishing and county jail site in downtown St. Paul

After spending millions to demolish city and county-owned buildings built into and atop the bluff just west of where Wabasha bridge meets downtown, St. Paul and Ramsey County are once again looking for a developer to return the site to the tax rolls and strengthen St. Paul's riverfront.

The redevelopment of the former West Publishing and county jail site on the bluffs of the Mississippi in downtown St. Paul hit another snag recently when the landowner, Ramsey County, and the prospective developer, Cardon Development Group, decided to part ways. The county is now considering plans that call for less parking.

FMR has been closely following efforts to redevelop the site and recently served on a task force formed by the county and the city to provide guidance.

September 13

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