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FMR Updates

Welcome, Ruby Rey!

FMR Volunteer Coordinator Amy Kilgore and Ruby Rey!

FMR Volunteer Coordinator Amy Kilgore and little Ruby Rey. 

Meet the youngest addition to the FMR family!

December 12

Post-election reflection: We're ready for 2017

Snowfall at Pine Bend Bluffs Scientific and Natural Area.

By bringing a diverse group of people together, FMR was able to protect Pine Bend Bluffs (above) as a Scientific and Natural Area. We know the power of creative partnerships and approaches. And with your support, we can continue to protect this national treasure in our midst. 

As always, FMR is ready to vigorously protect the Mississippi River and its water quality in 2017. During this season of gratitude and resolutions for the new year, here's how you can help us safeguard our successes.

December 12

Thank you, volunteers! Plus, the best photos from our 2016 event season

Volunteers planting native shrubs along the River Gorge

FMR stewardship volunteers planting native shrubs along the River Gorge in south Minneapolis. The native plants will provide much-needed urban wildlife habitat for birds, pollinators and other critters, and also help prevent erosion. 

The number of Twin Citians passionate about the Mississippi River never ceases to amaze us. In 2016, over 3,700 people pitched in at 98 FMR volunteer events. It was an honor to work with each of you.

Whether you spent a couple of hours picking up trash with us on Earth Day, hauled brush on a Saturday morning, took the "pledge to pull" this spring, or earned full FMR SuperVolunteer status participating in several events throughout the year, thank you!

And please enjoy a few of our favorite photos from the 2016 event season

December 9

A banner year for FMR's youngest river stewards

American Indian Magnet School students help with a cleanup

American Indian Magnet School students take pride in keeping their school grounds and neighborhood clean, and keeping all the trash from flowing into the streets and the Mississippi River. Thanks to all of our young river stewards for setting such great examples!

This year, youth from throughout the metro river corridor helped us educate Twin Citians about the connection between our homes and streets to the river, restore important natural areas, and research what works best for local ecological restoration projects. Despite all the thunderstorms, 2016 was a fantastic year for FMR youth programs and accomplishments.

November 15

Losing our cottonwoods: What’s at stake?

Installing cottonwood live stakes in the floodplain forest near Hastings

On a recent rainy October morning, volunteers from 3M helped FMR ecologists install over 300 cottonwood live stakes near the river in Hastings. Vital for wildlife and floodplain forests, cottonwoods have not been regenerating along the river. In 2013, FMR began a series of experimental plantings to help restore these imperiled icons. So far, live staking appears to be a promising method.

A key species of floodplain forests, Eastern Cottonwood trees aren't regenerating naturally in the floodplains. FMR ecologists and volunteers are using cottonwood cuttings or live stakes to re-establish a floodplain forest in Hastings.

November 7

South St. Paul stands strong to preserve open space

South St. Paul City Council

Cheers to the South St. Paul City Council! (Photo courtesy

FMR would like to thank the South St. Paul City Council and celebrate their recent decision to preserve a city-owned 5-acre site as open space. The site is located near the Mississippi River and adjacent to the Mississippi River Trail scheduled to be constructed in 2017. The council rejected a push to change the largely tree-covered site into a paved industrial railroad storage area.

This is a big win that maintains the city’s commitment to a more public and green riverfront for future generations!

October 27

Recommended reading: 'Danger Downstream'

The greatest river in North America begins in Minnesota. But our pristine stretch of the Mississippi faces mounting environmental threats.

As this trio of Star Tribune articles shows, solving Minnesota’s water quality issues begins on the land.

The Star Tribune’s recent series on threats to Minnesota’s rivers – including our own Upper Mississippi – beautifully illustrates many of the challenges and opportunities facing our surface waters. Each article by veteran reporter Josephine Marcotty explores a different aspect of how land use and water interact, with inevitable consequences for surface water, groundwater, habitat and public health. Together, these three articles tell a powerful story of Minnesota’s water resources. They also illustrate and reinforce many of the key lessons of the FMR-National Park Service State of the River Report.

October 20

Crown Hydro is back, but can it stand up to a new and exciting civic proposal?

The newly proposed Falls Park and Visitor Center

A new proposal for the downtown Minneapolis riverfront, the Falls Park and Visitor Center (above) seems to be gathering momentum. However, a 20-plus-years-old effort to build a hydroelectric power plant in this area has re-emerged. Image courtesy of VJAA.

Amidst strong community opposition, Crown Hydro continues to pursue its proposal for a new hydroelectric plant near the Stone Arch Bridge. One group is fighting back with an alternative idea to use the now-closed St. Anthony Falls Lock as an interpretive center and meeting space.

October 19