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: 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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Why insects matter and what you can do about their decline

In the past few years, news of the decline of insect populations has raised alarm bells. Experts say the world is losing around 1 to 2 percent of its insects each year. By now, most people know pollinators are vital to making about a third of our food supply. But what about all the other insects — does this overall population decrease matter?  >>

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FMR ecologist coauthors paper on the importance of replanting after buckthorn removal

When FMR volunteers remove buckthorn, we're making way for native plants to reestablish critical habitat. In a new research paper, following up by planting native plants seems to show another benefit: Buckthorn has a harder time making a comeback.  >>

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Minneapolis Parks for All plan open for comment
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Upcoming Events

Tuesday, June 25, 2024 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Nicollet Island, Minneapolis
New date: Saturday, August 10, 2024 at 5 p.m.
Hidden Falls Regional Park, St. Paul
Wednesday, August 14, 2024 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Pine Bend Bluffs Scientific & Natural Area, Inver Grove Heights