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Stewardship

Painted turtles and pink lotus flowers help keep our waters from turning green

Storm drain mural contains music and fish to connect it to como park and hands representing our responsibliity to care for the lake

You can now visit these colorful, water quality-themed mural at Como Lake! This mural is the second design by community members to decorate Como Lake's shores.

Ever wondered why so many metro lakes turn green in the summer?

For St. Paul's Lake Como and many others, one main reason is nutrients that come from neighborhood lawns and streets. After it rains, fertilizer, leaves and grass clippings are directed into our local lakes, creeks and rivers via storm drains, in turn feeding algae and excessive plant growth. 

At Como, a pair of murals reminds us of this important connection between our yards, streets, lakes and rivers, and celebrates the community in the process. >>

July 2

River Heights Park SAVED!

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. >>

May 15

Burn, baby, burn...but only when we say so!

An April prescribed burn rolls through a blufftop prairie at the Flint Hills Pind Bend Bluffs property.

A prescribed burn rolls through a blufftop prairie at the Flint Hills Pind Bend Bluffs restoration site. (Photo by Karen Schik.)

Spring has officially sprung, and with it comes those familiar signs of life: plants begin to green, flowers bloom, migrating birds return, and fires burn through the prairies at FMR restoration sites!

Learn more about how we use fire to restore wildlife habitat, and the impact of a recent unplanned fire on an FMR restoration site. >>

May 7

Claim your day: FMR is scheduling summer group outings

Students stencil storm drains in St. Paul neighborhoods

A group of students from Neighborhood House summer programs stencil storm drains in a St. Paul neighborhood.

If you're looking for a service outing that's educational, active, outdoors and provides a tangible community benefit, consider storm drain stenciling in St. Paul with FMR. 

Reservations for outings, as well as classroom presentations and litter cleanups, are now being taken for summer and fall 2018. >>

February 6

Shovels in the ground for three new river destinations

Illustration of Halls Island to-be

Illustration of Halls Island to-be

Three new destinations are beginning to take shape along the river north of St. Anthony Falls in Minneapolis, each with something different to offer. Coming up: a reclaimed island (image above), a destination riverfront restaurant, and one fully featured playground.  >>

November 16

A shocking, long-awaited outing — The 2017 volunteer trout survey

“It’s been three years of cancellations with high water in the river and getting rained out," said volunteer Tom Ziegler with a smile. "They [FMR] dangle this carrot when we do the buckthorn removal across the road, that if we did that job, we would get to do this event.”

Well, 2017 was finally the year. >>

November 14

Thank you, young river stewards!

Stenciling drains for the Mississippi River!

Members of the Youth Conservation Corps, one of 56 groups who helped stencil storm drains in St. Paul and Minneapolis with educational messages about how they connect to the Mississippi River.

Together, they stenciled over 2,000 storm drains with educational messages, collected trash throughout Twin Cities parks, and helped not only restore habitat along the river but research the best ways to keep it healthy in the future. They are FMR's youth volunteers, and their contributions are legion. ​ >>

November 7

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

Walk amongst the invaders (video)

Ever wonder what keeps FMR ecologists up at night? Buckthorn and crown vetch may have pretty glossy leaves or flowers, but for anyone who cares about wildlife, they're a serious threat to forest and prairie habitat in the metro river corridor.

Join FMR ecologist Alex Roth for a walk through our most common invasives: buckthorn, bush honeysuckle, garlic mustard, burdock, spotted knapweed and crown vetch. Along the way, you'll learn why they matter and how to identify and remove them in your own back yard. All in two minutes!

Thank you Tom Reiter and Will Stock for creating this wonderful video!

August 7

Wanted: SuperVolunteers!

SuperVolunteers Stacy & Allan

SuperVolunteers Stacy Enzmann and Allan Tokuda preserve wildlife habitat by removing invasive buckthorn at an FMR event. (By Anna Botz Photography)

If you've been to an FMR event, chances are you've encountered a SuperVolunteer wearing their identifying T-shirt with pride. To join their ranks (complete with a coveted T-shirt and special event invitations) volunteers need to participate in four or more hands-on restoration events or contribute 20 hours total throughout the year.

There are still plenty of upcoming events in need of helping hands to attain SuperVolunteer status! Check out the FMR event calendar or contact Volunteer Coordinator Amy Kilgore, akilgore@fmr.org, to get started.

August 1

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