MWMO Newsletter - May 2021 - Project Updates, Yard Care Tips, New Videos and More

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Mississippi Watershed Management Organization


Virginia bluebells.

Exploring the Ecology of the Mississippi River Gorge

The Mississippi River Gorge is one of the gems of our watershed. It’s a truly special place, both for its historical and cultural significance as well as its unique ecology and geological features.

In a new video, local conservationist and volunteer Carolyn Carr talks about what makes the gorge such a special place, and how the community has been working to protect it for future generations. (You can find some additional information on our blog as well.)

Plant enthusiasts take note: We also recently updated our blog post from April on spring ephemerals in the gorge, and posted a new Flickr album with some of our favorite photos.

Creating Pollinator Habitat at Home

A Monarch butterfly.

Planting native plants at home — even just a few — is a powerful way to support both pollinators and water quality.

Our latest blog post covers both the how and why of planting native perennials at home, including how to choose a location, select plants, and overcome challenging soil conditions. If you decide to give it a shot, you can find even more resources on our native plants page.

If you already have native plants, May is a good time to prepare them for the new growing season. You can learn the basics of spring maintenance for native plants in this YouTube video.

And while you’re busy planning your native plant garden, you can support pollinators in the meantime by letting your lawn grow wild for No Mow May (provided that your local ordinances allow it).

Final Phase of Construction Begins at Columbia Golf Course and Park

An aerial view of the Columbia Golf Course northeast wet pond.

The second and final phase of stormwater improvements and habitat construction is ramping up at Columbia Golf Course and Park.

From now through the end of the summer, crews will finish installing the new stormwater features, complete golf course improvements, seed and restore habitat areas, and repave trails.

You can find background info, photos and more on our project page.


Watershed Management Plan Update

MWMO staff are continuing work on the 2021-2031 Watershed Management Plan update. A public hearing on the draft plan will be held at the MWMO Board of Commissioners meeting on July 13, 2021.

There will be no other board-related actions until final approval of the plan, which is anticipated for November.

Learn more.

Paddle Share Opens May 29

First-person view from a Paddle Share kayak on the Mississippi River.

Mississippi River Paddle Share, the Twin Cities’ self-serve kayak sharing service, will begin its 2021 season on Saturday, May 29.

Now in its fifth year, the program remains one of the most fun and unique ways to explore the Mississippi River.

The MWMO will no longer be hosting a Paddle Share station, but there are plenty of stops nearby. You can check out the new route options here.

Grant Application Reminders

Action Grants — Due Friday, November 5, 2021

Featured Project

26th Avenue Overlook

Aerial view of 26th Avenue Overlook under construction.

Last week, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board held a virtual press event for their latest addition: a new scenic overlook connecting North Minneapolis to the Mississippi River.

The project is part of the RiverFirst Initiative, which seeks to expand the city’s parks and trails system along the river. The MWMO has also partnered on other RiverFirst projects, including Hall's Island and Water Works.

The MWMO provided funding to enhance habitat and stabilize the riverbank at the overlook using bioengineering techniques that also add habitat and improve stormwater management.

You can watch a short video of the restoration work and view our photo album of the project.