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Land Conservation

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

Special Places: Local prairie wonderlands

Blazing star with monarch at Hastings Sand Coulee SNA

The contrasting colors or purple blazing star and yellow goldenrod are eye-candy for both humans and bees.

A prairie for every season and (metro) location! We list a few of our favorite prairie sites from Elk River to Hastings, including both restored prairies and native remnants. Some of our favorite finds at each site are listed, and a good time to visit. >>

August 10

Nicollet Island

FMR is embarking on restoration of the natural areas on Nicollet Island. Restoration will encompass roughly 5.8 acres of land on the northeast side of the island and a band of an additional 1.3 acres of land on the island’s west side. The island itself is a 48-acre landmass located in the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. The acres in question are all owned by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.

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