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restoration

Snapping turtle hatchlings protected from predators

Baby snapping turtle

When born, baby snapping turtles are smaller than a half dollar. (Photo by Mike Krivit)

Our wildlife cameras caught baby snapping turtles hatching in peace thanks to our new wildlife nest enclosure at Spring Lake Islands Wildlife Management Area. >>

September 10

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

Restoring habitat on an urban island

FMR is beginning restoration and enhancement of the natural areas on the north half of Nicollet Island. Photo by MWMO.

FMR is beginning restoration and enhancement of the natural areas on the north half of Nicollet Island. Photo by MWMO.

After almost two years of planning, FMR is embarking on our Nicollet Island habitat restoration project designed to enhance wildlife habitat, control erosion and improve water quality.  >>

September 10

Wildlife returning to FMR restoration sites

Red-headed woodpecker, baby snapping turtle, chorus frog

If you restore habitat, will wildlife return? Signs — or rather, red-headed woodpeckers, snapping turtles and chorus frogs — point to yes. (Photos courtesy [clockwise] Mike Krivit, WikiMedia, and Tom Reiter.)

This spring, we kept a close eye on our habitat restoration projects to see if they're paying off for wildlife. If our sightings are any indication, we’re certainly on the right track!

Red-headed woodpeckers were spotted in one of our oak savanna restoration areas, tadpoles wriggled in just-created wetland basins, and turtles were quick (relatively) to take advantage of newly built nest protection sites. >>

June 11

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

What's your city planning for its riverfront? Find out and weigh in.

View from River Oaks in Cottage Grove

Identifying scenic vistas, like this view of Hastings from Cottage Grove, is an important component of the local river corridor planning now underway.

Cities up and down the metro Mississippi are busy finalizing their local river corridor plans, but there's still time to weigh in. Some deadlines to submit comments are fast approaching, including July 17 for Cottage Grove and July 22 for Minneapolis. Learn where your city's at in its process and how you can have your say in the shape of your future local riverfront. >>

April 9

Introducing the FMR Conservation Map!

Although our policy and advocacy work tends to make the most headlines, many FMR supporters, members and volunteers highly value the natural areas we protect, restore and enhance throughout the metro area.  But even the longest-standing FMR members and volunteers wonder where, exactly, we work.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way for folks to see all of FMR’s 37 active restoration sites in one place? Perhaps some kind of…map? >>

April 9

What's the best way to control buckthorn and protect native plants? FMR investigates.

A native ladyslipper plant, a mowed stretch of forest, a glossy buckthorn plant and a bobcat/forestry mower

We set up a new research project in Hampton Woods (top left) to control buckthorn (top right) and see how different methods (such as the forestry mower, bottom right) best protect and encourage native plants (like the yellow ladyslipper, bottom left).

What pops to mind when you think of restoring a forest? Perhaps people planting trees? ...How about bobcat-like machines busily eating up small trees and spitting out the splinters?

If you'd visited Hampton Woods this spring, this is exactly the scene you would have come across. The machines were forestry mowers, consuming invasive European buckthorn.

Not only were the mowers benefiting the long-term health of the forest, but they're part of a new FMR research project to compare and contrast the effectiveness of different methods to both control buckthorn and support the growth of native plants and habitat. >>

April 5

Special Places: Minneapolis' riverfront Above the Falls

View of downtown Mpls from the Lowry bridge

View from the Lowry Bridge in North and Northeast Minneapolis looking south towards downtown.

To celebrate our 25th year, each month in 2018 FMR staff will profile places along the metro Mississippi River that are near and dear to us, places that connect to FMR but that we also enjoy in our own downtime. By the end of our silver year, we'll have built a map of 25 special river places for you and yours to learn about, visit and enjoy.

This month: Minneapolis’s riverfront Above the Falls.

The Minneapolis riverfront north of St. Anthony Falls is an interesting juxtaposition of the natural, urban and industrial. Here you can enjoy bike and pedestrian trails, or rent a kayak to see a heron rookery, restored prairie, riverfront raingarden parks and sculptures, as well as industrial relics. You'll also want to visit often over the next decade to experience the changing riverfront, as more industrial sites are converted into public parklands.

February 12

If you build it, will they come? Investigating whether restored habitat means more wildlife.

A red fox ventures into an open, grassy area.

Bird surveys and wildlife cameras (one of which captured this red fox on film) have long provided a glimpse of how wildlife use our restoration sites. But recently we've been greatly expanding our monitoring to include amphibians, reptiles, pollinators and other insects.

Since the creation of our land conservation program over 20 years ago, FMR has protected, restored or enhanced over a thousand acres of prairie, forest, wetland and other types of wildlife and pollinator habitat in the metro area. But does increasing native habitat result in the return of native animals?

Learn about bird surveys, wildlife cams and our work with local high schools to find out. >>

February 9

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