Conservation

FMR works with landowners, government agencies and concerned residents — including hundreds of volunteers — to protect and restore bluffs, prairies, forests and other lands important to our communities and the health of our metro Mississippi.

Here's what our conservation staff are currently working on and encountering in the field. 

Learn more about all our protection and restoration sites at our conservation map, as well as more information about our approach and program.

Conservation updates are also shared on social media (Facebook and Twitter) and in our Mississippi Messages newsletter.

POSTS

Indian Mounds Regional Park: Restored land in a sacred place

It's hard to overstate the importance of Indian Mounds Regional Park. Situated atop the bluff just east of downtown St. Paul, the park harbors a wealth of cultural, historical and ecological significance. The park is also unique in that it's where three of FMR’s programs — land conservation, stewardship and youth engagement — converge.  >>

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Hundreds of birds in the one and only river gorge

For 33 years, Dave Zumeta has kept meticulous lists of the birds he's seen in the Mississippi River Gorge, a band of habitat FMR works to restore that is critical for migrators on the flyway. These lists have become a valuable tool to help us track the health of our river habitat. Learn more about Dave's surprising findings, troubling and encouraging trends.  >>

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From buckthorn to endangered bumblebees, a habitat success story

We're thrilled that an FMR restoration site, a local woodland once choked with European buckthorn, now supports the rusty patched bumblebee, a federally endangered species. >>

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A field ecology internship in the time of COVID-19

Our summer intern Michaela Hackbarth reflects on the gray catbird's call, how field work requires great people skills, and the expansive feeling at FMR habitat restoration sites.  >>

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Your sightings critical for year two of coyote and fox research project

How are wild canids adapting to urban areas? Help researchers find out more this fall and winter, get a project update from the first field season, and learn how to identify and differentiate gray foxes, red foxes and coyotes with our guide, so you can record your sightings.  >>

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Public comment sought for new Pig's Eye islands

The Star Tribune recently covered the island-building project at Pig's Eye Lake in East Side St. Paul's riverfront park. As our executive director Whitney Clark stated in the article, FMR supports the project overall, and would also like to see project planners "really consider including climate-adaptive species and use this opportunity to understand more about habitat restoration in the era of climate change."  >>

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Help us collar backyard fox and coyote for important research

Have you seen a coyote or fox on your Twin Cities property? If so, let us know if you'd be willing to let our research partners capture and collar these animals! It will help us understand how they're adapting to urban areas, and inform our habitat management strategies for these species. >>

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Partnering for habitat and culture at Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary

This year, FMR is embarking on a new partnership with the Lower Phalen Creek Project, an indigenous-led organization working to engage the community in honoring and caring for natural areas and their sacred and cultural importance. Along with LPCP and St. Paul Parks and Recreation, we're updating an outdated management plan for the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary to ensure healthy habitat with a special focus on culturally important plant species and restoration techniques that better represent and honor the site's history and its ongoing importance to Dakota people.  >>

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Tackling the issue of fishing line for wildlife

We've written a lot about how anglers can help our waters and wildlife by avoiding lead tackle. But another key action is disposing of fishing line responsibly. Jonathan, a Youth Empowerment Program participant this summer and avid fisher, built and installed a PVC fishing line receptacle at Hidden Falls Park. He's also got some tips for dealing with fishing line.  >>

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Blazing the way for habitat through a challenging spring burn season

Fire is one of the most important tools we use in the habitat restoration process, but burns require the right combination of weather, preparation and planning. Through a challenging spring, we were still able to burn five of our sites. Get a glimpse into the process in this video and photos from our spring burn season.  >>

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Upcoming Events

Friday, September 30, 2022 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Online
Saturday, August 27, 2022 - 9:00am to Saturday, December 31, 2022 - 11:00am
Rice Creek Watershed District
Thursday, September 29, 2022 - 6:00pm
Nicollet Island Pavilion, Minneapolis