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. >>
“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.”
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. >>
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. >>
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!
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, to get started.
Earth Day is just around the corner! Join us to protect and restore local natural areas, organize your own outing to help the river, or to turn your own home, yard or neighborhood into a force for clean water.
This massive ragweed plant is no match for Clare Tipler, the senior from St. Paul Academy who contributed the article below about her experience with FMR field trips. Clare and her class removed invasives from Crosby Park in St. Paul (above), educated their neighbors about river pollution and became citizen scientists for the Mississippi River.
High school senior Clare Tipler shares her adventures working with FMR and her environmental studies class and the surprising lessons learned along the way.