Conservation

FMR works with public and private landowners, local government agencies and concerned community members — including thousands 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

Where we work: Camel’s Hump Park and Open Space

Since 2012, we've been restoring the woods, savanna, and remnant prairie still growing on the sandstone bluffs of Camel's Hump Park and Open Space, a 60-acre Cottage Grove park with a vantage that gives expansive views of the Mississippi River Valley.  >>

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Lend your lawn to science!

If you mow your lawn, you can support a long-term study on pollinator habitat by the University of Minnesota, University of St. Thomas and the U.S. Forest Service. Learn how it works and fill out the form to offer your yard as a survey site.  >>

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Beat the heat with a paddle to Settler's Island

Looking to get out on the river? Pair your paddle with a visit to FMR's Settler's Island restoration and enjoy a respite in the shade of the island's canopy as you take in the quietude of the Mississippi River's back channels.  >>

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Where we work: Hampton Woods Wildlife Management Area

The only forest among miles of farmland in all directions, Hampton Woods WMA is a 200-acre haven for wood thrush and other woodland wildlife near the Vermillion River in Dakota County. We helped permanently protect this area in 2017, and now we're working to restore its red oak forest.  >>

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Our favorite take-aways from this spring's Pollinator Summit

At the recent Pollinator Summit, our ecologists picked up a few new ideas about how to restore land with pollinators in mind, and learned more about how pollinators restore the land themselves. Read on for our take-aways on soil scouting, goat grazing, our tiniest SuperVolunteers, and the 5,000 invertebrates under your feet at every step.  >>

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Where we work: Mississippi River Gorge

Forested limestone bluffs make up the only gorge on the entire length of the Mississippi River as it flows through the heart of the Twin Cities, flanked by beloved recreational parkways. Our restoration projects improve habitat in this urban oasis.  >>

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Cedar and spruce shore up the Vermillion River's eroding banks

At Vermillion River Linear Park in Hastings, the cedars we removed from our prairie restoration became the armor of a streambank stabilization project. This revetment not only stops erosion, but will also rebuild the riverbank, creating habitat for trout and other aquatic wildlife.  >>

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Volunteer spotlight: Randy's dedication at Ole Olson Park

For Randy Miranda, volunteering every week to tend FMR's prairie restoration at Ole Olson Park near his home was a meditative way to give back and get through the pandemic. Here are Randy's reflections on why he volunteers and what we've accomplished together.  >>

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Where we work: Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park

A forested valley with 100-foot high slopes runs into Ravine Lake at this 515-acre park. We’ve been managing oak savanna and prairie habitat restoration here since 2012.  >>

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Where we work: Vermillion Falls Park

At the stunning waterfall after which this park is named, the Vermillion River drops 35 feet, then runs through limestone gorge and forest. We've been managing habitat restoration here since 2019.  >>

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Upcoming Events

Saturday, April 20, 2024 - 9:30am to 12:00pm
West River Parkway and 36th Street/44th Street, Minneapolis
Applications due Friday, May 3 by 5 p.m.
Virtual and in-person
Thursday, May 9, 2024 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Hastings Sand Coulee Scientific and Natural Area