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Best of 2015: a photographic year in review

Thank you once again to our dedicated, enthusiastic volunteers! We had a record breaking year and couldn't have done it without you! Take a minute to check out our Best of 2015 Flickr photo album for a glimps of our year in review. We are working away to get the volunteer event schedule for 2016 set and hope to see many new and familiar faces at our upcoming events. FMR would also like to extend our thanks and gratitude to all of our event partners, sponsors and contributing members who help make these events possible.

December 8

A record year for river volunteers!

Friends of the Mississippi River volunteers help protect water quality and wildlife habitat

As the outdoor volunteer season comes to a close, we stand in awe of our river stewards' accomplishments. In 2015, some 3,637 people — individuals, families, church, school and neighborhood groups — came together from throughout the metro area to help the Mississippi River at 135 FMR volunteer events. Together they stenciled over 3,000 storm drains with educational messages helping residents connect their yards and streets to our local waters, removed over a thousand bags of invasive species from local parks and natural areas, removed litter from over 20 riverfront sites and installed native prairies and raingardens at six riverfront parks. At the end of our busiest restoration season on record, our community's ability to act on behalf of our local waters and wildlife continues to amaze us.

November 10

Stenciling ... That's a wrap, folks

A group of storm drain stencilers stands at an overlook to Downtown St. Paul.

Groups of all ages can stencil with FMR! Here Metro State Upward Bound students stenciled in an area with a great view of downtown Saint Paul. 

Thank you to all of our wonderful 2015 stenciling volunteers! Stenciling is an effective way to spread the message that anything that goes down that storm drain ends up in the Mississippi River. Thanks to our volunteers of all ages who helped stencil, from public and corporate groups to middle schoolers, we have exceeded our goals for the year. 

October 13

New FMR film about our local national park — Watch the trailer and sign up for the premiere!

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016, FMR is making a documentary about our very own national park, the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. The film tells the story of the effort to get Congress to designate the park, explores the meaning of this legacy, and stresses the need for continued stewardship and advocacy on the park's behalf. Check it out!

October 8

Join us for a fall hayride, hike or haul! (Heads up: Capacity is limited.)

Join us for a crisp autumn morning in the bluffs above the river Saturday, Oct. 17 in Cottage Grove or Saturday, Oct. 24 in Pine Bend Bluffs near Rosemount. Sign up for the hayride and hike, join the buckthorn hauls — or both!

After exploring and restoring river-lands not normally open to the public, we’ll celebrate our volunteer and community partners’ impact on our local wildlife and waters. Thanks to Cottage Grove partner 3M and Pine Bend partner Flint Hills Resources, there’ll be great food, raffles and other special activities. 

September 9

Join us above the falls! Showy N Minneapolis trailside planting Oct. 8

Long an industrial zone with little community access, the north and northeast Minneapolis riverfront is undergoing a much-needed transformation. After years of local advocacy and planning work, FMR is proud to host two hands-on fall events within a new portion of the Above the Falls Regional Park. Join us September 10 to help tend the Sheridan Memorial raingarden (pictured above) or October 8 to plant a showy trail-side prairie at Ole Olsen. Capacity is limited so sign up soon!

August 20