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restoration

Thanks Akia, our shared summer intern

Akia Vang, our Green Team Alumni summer intern, did a little bit of everything in our office and out in the field, all in two short weeks. (Photo: Tom Reiter and Will Stock for FMR)

Akia Vang, our Green Team Alumni summer intern, woke up early to survey breeding birds and stayed late to assist at volunteer planting events. Akia stayed busy during his two short weeks with us.  >>

July 11

A good sign for habitat: Hastings high schoolers make their mark in the park

Hastings High School students shovel into place the park sign they wrote and designed for Vermillion River Linear Park. Their teacher, Mr. Beattie, has partnered his field biology classes with us to restore natural habitat at this park for five years.

Vermillion River Linear Park is a 60-acre prairie in the heart of Hastings that FMR has worked with students for years to restore. These high school students wanted to make sure passersby knew about the boon to wildlife and water quality right in their backyard. >>

June 11

New podcast features FMR ecologist and invasive earthworms

Wandering Naturalist

The Wandering Naturalist podcast featured FMR ecologist Alex Roth in May. And in June, the featured topic is water, from water quality to water sports. (Image from Three Rivers Park District.)

Three Rivers Park District's new podcast, The Wandering Naturalist, covers fun Minnesota ecology topics from tracking owls to maple syruping. In this episode, FMR ecologist Alex Roth joined the conversation about the effects of invasive buckthorn and earthworms on Minnesota's wildflowers. >>

June 11

Meet our elusive, big brown trout

The Twin Cities is home to a rare trophy trout stream known for these not-so-brown trout. (Photo by Latham Jenkins, Circumerro Stock.) 

In a cold prairie river just 20 or so minutes south of St. Paul, large brown trout gather in the shadow of red-twig dogwoods, willows and other stream-side plants. Learn more about these wily and beautiful reminders of the importance of protecting our local waters, and how you can help protect them. (Hint: Volunteer at our Vermillion watershed events on 5/23 and 6/22!) >>

May 15

Art from invasives: An interview with Kim and Emily

Kim and Emily

FMR volunteers Emily Sauer and Kimberly Boustead, pictured here at one of our volunteer events, spread invasives awareness through art.

FMR volunteers Kimberly Boustead and Emily Sauer remove buckthorn, garlic mustard and more at our stewardship events. And they also use their creativity to spread awareness about how to stop the spread of invasive species. Read more about their favorite river spots, buckthorn berry ink and a new spin on the muscle tee.  >>

February 26

Ecological research and monitoring at FMR

SPA monitoring

St. Paul Academy students sample for earthworms, an invasive species in Minnesota, at Crosby Farm Park in St. Paul. Our work there helps us understand the impacts earthworms have on native plant diversity, so we can refine and prioritize our habitat restoration efforts.

FMR has worked to restore over two thousand acres in the Mississippi River's metro watershed. Our hope is that diverse natural communities of plants and wildlife will return and thrive. And so far, our surveys and studies point to a positive connection between our habitat restoration work and the plants and animals our work is meant to support.  >>

Bird surveys reveal steady increases at FMR prairie restorations

Henslow's Sparrow

Henslow's sparrow is one of the many bird species our FMR breeding bird surveys found on prairie restoration sites. ("Henslow's sparrow" by Jim Hudgins/USFWS. CC BY 2.0)

Our land conservation team not only restores habitat, but monitors that habitat for wildlife data. After years of conducting breeding bird surveys at our prairie restoration sites, we can now see clear trends in increased number of species, especially species of greatest conservation need.  >>

December 7

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

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

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