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Volunteers Assist with Nicollet Island Restoration Work

Photo credit Will Stock

Over 25 volunteers recently dug in to help restore habitat on Nicollet Island.

As part of a new multi-year restoration of natural areas on the islands northern half, the volunteers planted 90 trees and shrubs and over 400 wildflowers, sedges and grasses on Saturday, October 13.

Tim Lynch, who works at DeLaSalle High School on the island and serves as a moderator with the school's GREEN team, said, "We're making the island a more vibrant and sustainable place for everyone. It's been fun seeing the whole process — pulling out the invasive species this spring and seeing the plan coming to fruition."

Tim Lynch on left, Alex Roth on right

Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR) Ecologist Alex Roth led the event, noting that each plant was specially selected for its high value to bees, birds, and other pollinators and wildlife. He also noted that the installation of a new trail will allow visitors and community members to enjoy a walk through the prairie in the heart of the city.

FMR ecologist Alex Roth

In total, 2 acres of native prairie habitat are being created, plus a pocket of maple forest historically present on the island.

While professional crews will be used for some work, volunteers will be needed to assist at each step in this long-term process. Events are two hours long and no experience is required. Contact to learn more.

FMR is leading the restoration in partnership with the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. Other partners include Nicollet Island/East Bank Neighborhood Association and Friends of the Riverfront.

Young Nicollet Island habitat restorers Sylvia and Oliver Case

Volunteer Oliver Case leaves a wish for a tree he helped to plant with his family.

Oliver's note around the tree reads, "I wish for this tree to stand tall forever."

Volunteers Grace and Brett Edgar mulch a newly planted tree.

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