Volunteer Opportunities Aug - Sept.

Friends of the Mississippi River
Volunteer Opportunities - Ongoing
Twin Cities, MN

August 21 - ‘Make and Take’ Rain Barrel Workshop - Just $35!

What's one of the simplest, high-impact ways to save water and help protect our watershed? Using a rain barrel.


The biggest threat to our waters today is polluted runoff — water that runs off our roofs and into our streets and alleys, carrying contaminants into our lakes, rivers, and streams. For conservation and for pollution prevention, installing a rain barrel to collect and store rainwater for use on your lawn and gardens is a simple but powerful way to make a difference for the Mississippi River.


Thanks to Great Lakes Coca-Cola of Eagan, Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR) has used syrup containers for participants to turn into rain barrels. During the course of this workshop, participants will be provided with the necessary parts ($35 per kit) and guided through the process of converting these containers into allies for a cleaner Mississippi River.


The workshop will be held on August 21, from 6-7:30 pm, and will include a presentation on best lawn and garden practices, the watershed-friendly benefits of rain barrels, and a review of how to build, incorporate, install and maintain them. With guidance from FMR staff, participants will then build their very own rain barrel to take home following the workshop.


To learn more and register, visit https://fmr.org/events/2018/08/21/make-take-rain-barrel-workshop-just-35




August 28 - Summer work night at Ole Olson Park

Ole Olson Park in north Minneapolis is known for its top-notch walking and biking trails and stunning skyline views, but we want it to be recognized for even more. Join Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR) on August 28, from 6-8pm as we return to this riverfront park to tend an important native demonstration prairie garden along the bike trail. This summer work night will help further our long-term transformation and commitment at this site and to the river. Although a small urban site, Ole Olson is a surprisingly diverse landscape, including riverfront shoreline, woodland terrace, and grassland slopes. We look forward to transforming the park into an oasis of habitat and respite — returning willows to the shoreline, wildflowers to the slopes and majestic oaks to the terraces – and keeping it that way.


As always, all are welcome, however, capacity is limited and registration required. To learn more and register, visit https://fmr.org/events/2018/08/28/summer-work-night-ole-olson-park




August 29 - Lop sumac at Grey Cloud Dunes SNA

Located in Cottage Grove, this highly protected Scientific and Natural Area (SNA) features two sandy terraces along the river. Grey Cloud Dunes SNA is a sight to see. Help us further our restoration efforts at this special site!


After a brief orientation, volunteers will work with Friends of the Mississippi River ecologists to help remove sumac, a shrubby tree that would otherwise overtake this vital habitat. Other tending or restoration tasks may also be needed at this very important site.


Due to tool usage, including loppers and saws, this event is not suitable for youth. Please also note Grey Cloud SNA does not feature amenities – trails or restrooms.


Capacity is limited, in part to tread lightly on this special place but also to make sure everyone has a chance to ask questions about the site's ecology. To learn more and register, visit https://fmr.org/events/2018/08/29/lop-sumac-grey-cloud-dunes-sna




September 6 - Lop fruiting buckthorn along the river gorge

A surprisingly beautiful and rare oak savanna and woodlands can be found just off the main trail along the Minneapolis side of the river gorge.


Come join Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR) on September 6, from 6-8pm, to help restore and protect the woodlands just north of the oak savanna by lopping fruiting branches of female buckthorn to stop another year's worth of seed from dropping and spreading. The rapidly spreading shrub is able to invade many different forest types, where it then crowds out native species such as young oaks and maples.


No experience is needed. All tools, gloves, and training will be provided. However, be prepared to work on steep slopes and uneven terrain. Due to the tools and terrain, this event is not suitable for small children.


To learn more and register, visit https://fmr.org/events/2018/09/06/lop-fruiting-buckthorn-along-river-gorge




September 13 - Help restore Farmington’s Rambling River Park

Rambling River Park is a beautiful 76-acre park located in Farmington bordered on the south and east by the Vermillion River. The Vermillion River is a unique resource that provides vital wildlife habitat, scenic beauty and recreational opportunities such as kayaking and trout fishing. The Vermillion is also a major Mississippi River tributary and a portion of the water feeds drinking water wells in Hastings.


On September 13, from 6-8 pm, volunteers will work closely with Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR) staff and fellow volunteers to remove and haul buckthorn from this important site. Buckthorn is extremely hardy, and out-competes native plant species that are vital for increased habitat and biodiversity.


No experience is needed and all are welcome! All tools, gloves, and training will be provided. To learn more and register, visit https://fmr.org/events/2018/09/13/help-restore-farmingtons-rambling-rive...




September 19 - Plant shrubs and forbs near the rare Oak savanna

Join Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR) staff and volunteers on September 19, from 6-8pm, working along the beautiful and rare Oak savanna and woodlands located just off the main trail along the Minneapolis side of the river gorge. We will spend the evening planting shrubs and forbs helping to build a buffer of native plant populations around the prized Oak savanna area and will help to re-establish native vegetation where buckthorn has been removed.


This event is specifically supported by the local neighborhood group, the Longfellow Community Council, and Longfellow area residents are urged to register! The event is also part of the Gorge Stewards program, which actively engages citizens throughout the Twin Cities in the stewardship of the national treasure that is the Mississippi River Gorge.


All are welcome and no experience is needed. However, be prepared to work on steep slopes and uneven terrain. To learn more and register, visit https://fmr.org/events/2018/09/19/plant-shrubs-and-forbs-near-rare-oak-s...