Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A busy winter, preparing for an even busier spring

If you were judging by the frequency of postings over the past month, you might think little was happening with our river restoration efforts. But while work (my real job) has been particularly demanding recently, it is also true that we’ve been “painting the corners” on evenings and weekends, gathering an important collection of additional connections and resources.

Like the relationship we already enjoy with the DNR offices in both Minnesota and Wisconsin, these new acquaintances will provide guidance, experience and other valuable assistance as we move forward.

For example, we were finally able to connect with a group called “Friends of the Mississippi” here in the Twin Cities metro area. Irene Jones took time to chat and introduce us to the rich history of this group of citizens. They are involved in stewardship efforts that run from Anoka to Hastings, including clean-up efforts which generally focus more on the central- and south-metro area (from the Stone Arch Bridge in downtown Minneapolis, southward through the area known as “The Gorge”), and in the Vermillion watershed. (I'm betting we can learn much from their experience and success.) Friends of the Mississippi has a record of consistency. They’ve been involved with river clean-ups for better than 15 years… and realize that river restoration takes more than an annual weekend event. According to Irene, they are also involved in land protection and restoration, water quality, land use and riverfront development issues in a variety of areas. In the Above the Falls area, their work focuses on land use, development and park planning. You can read more about their endeavors at http://www.fmr.org/.

Irene has directed me toward a couple of other organizations and contacts that will provide valuable help going forward. It is a privilege to be among “Friends.”

© 2008 Mike D. Anderson, Crystal, MN.

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