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Land Conservation

Minnesota’s coveted native orchids

Orchids

Minnesota has almost 50 native orchids. You can find some wild orchids in our metro area.

Though we certainly don’t live in a tropical climate, our state is home to almost 50 native orchids. If you need a reprieve from the muted winter palette, check out our vivid photos of blooming orchids and learn more about some of Minnesota's loveliest plants.  >>

March 11

Art from invasives: An interview with Kim and Emily

Kim and Emily

FMR volunteers Emily Sauer and Kimberly Boustead, pictured here at one of our volunteer events, spread invasives awareness through art.

FMR volunteers Kimberly Boustead and Emily Sauer remove buckthorn, garlic mustard and more at our stewardship events. And they also use their creativity to spread awareness about how to stop the spread of invasive species. Read more about their favorite river spots, buckthorn berry ink and a new spin on the muscle tee.  >>

February 26

Calling all cameras: Citizen science for the Twin Cities Coyote and Fox Research Project

Coyote in snow

A coyote hunts mice in a wintry field. The new Twin Cities Coyote and Fox Research Project seeks your canine sightings like this one. (Photo by Karen Schik for FMR.)

Coyotes and foxes are mostly secretive animals, but sightings of these species are becoming more and more common throughout the Twin Cities Metro Area. Now, a group of researchers and partner organizations (including FMR) are setting out to better understand how these critters use the urban environment, and maybe just dispel some myths along the way. You can help!  >>

February 28

First buckthorn wreath-making workshop a success

Two workshop participants display their buckthorn wreath creations.

Two workshop participants display their buckthorn wreath creations. (Photo by Shanai Matteson for Water Bar & Public Studio)

For some in the do-it-yourself crowd, wreath-making has become a fun way to create holiday decor. This past December, FMR and two local artists put a unique spin on this DIY theme, hosting an open studio wreath-making event with one big twist… we used invasive buckthorn.  >>

January 7

A rare opportunity to protect 150+ acres on the main stem of the Mississippi

A view of the Mississippi River looking across to Lower Grey Cloud Island from the former site of Mississippi Dunes Golf Links.

A view of the Mississippi River looking across to Lower Grey Cloud Island from the former site of Mississippi Dunes Golf Links. Preservation and restoration of this site could improve habitat for pelicans and other wildlife.

FMR is leading the charge to acquire and restore a once-manicured golf course in Washington County. Learn more about this opportunity and our hope to transform the former golf fairways and putting greens back to their natural state.  >>

January 4

Habitat in the city: the power of the single yard

Black-capped chickadee on branch

Black-capped chickadees eat insects, some of which have evolved to survive on certain native plants and not others. Without those native plants, chickadee populations decline. (Photo by Patrick Ashley, Creative Commons, Flickr)

Native plants are for the birds! A recent study shows chickadee populations decline in residential yards filled with non-native plants, meaning even your backyard can provide crucial habitat.  >>

November 6

Chemical Use Policy

Friends of the Mississippi River’s Land Conservation activities protect and restore biologically diverse natural areas throughout the Mississippi River watershed in the Twin Cities region. These natural areas provide essential habitat for native fauna, like migratory songbirds and insects, upon which our food web relies.

Why do volunteers hand-collect seed for FMR?

Native prairie seed harvested by hand

Volunteers collected this yellow coneflower seed by hand. Hand-harvested seeds help us restore prairie remnants at places like Sand Coulee Scientific and Natural Area in Hastings.

What would you be willing to pay for a few teaspoons of prairie seed? Seeds from native prairie remnants that our volunteers collect by hand are priceless.  >>

October 8

River Heights Park saved, restoration begins!

Residents and River Guardians helped save this park!

Inver Grove Heights residents, including many FMR River Guardians, helped save this park!

After hearing from dozens of community members (including many FMR River Guardians), the Inver Grove Heights city council unanimously voted to save River Heights Park on Monday, May 14. 

The council had been considering carving up and selling the 7.5-acre undeveloped natural area as three 2.5-acre lots for housing developers. Instead, the city, FMR and neighbors are going to work together to make the park more accessible — adding a park sign and bench, with details to be determined — while keeping it a natural area and restoring important bird habitat. >>

September 19

Goldenrod vs. ragweed: Which causes allergies and which benefits pollinators?

A field of showy golden flowers is a common site in late summer, but is goldenrod to blame for our allergies?

A field of showy golden flowers is a common site in late summer, but is goldenrod to blame for our allergies?

Each year, we get questions about whether goldenrod is contributing to our late-summer allergies. The short answer: Most likely not, it's actually ragweed that's to blame.

In fact, goldenrod plays a role in habitat restoration and is sometimes planted by FMR ecologists. >>

August 13

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