Thank you for a great year!

In 2016

Great River Greening continued to get kids, families, and communities outside, learning about science and discovering the spark that ignites a lifetime of caring for our land and water.

With your help, we advanced our goal to touch nearly every community in the Twin Cities and lead the state to improve our most critical lands and waters.


  • 2,423 volunteers, more than 700 of them youth, removed buckthorn and other invasive species, and planted 27,371 native trees, shrubs and wildflowers.
  • Together, we restored or enhanced 1,667 acres, for an overall total of 17,486.
  • We hosted a record-breaking 43 events, including new events to assist climate research; shoreline/erosion projects; pollinator surveys; and new Million Milkweed Seed collection initiative.



Nicollet Soil & Water Conservation District and Seven Mile Creek Watershed Partners, multiple cities, South Washington Watershed District, Three Rivers Park District, and partners in the Anoka Sand Plain Partnership. New in 2016: Sherburne County, St. Louis Park, MN Valley National Wildlife Refuge – USFWS Scott County.

RESEARCH* (ongoing):

  • Cheat grass plots with Friends of the Mississippi River. Past conference presentation. 1
  • Carbon sequestration at Fish Creek Open Space comparing southern vs. local ecotype oaks;, growth and survival of southern vs. local ecotype white oaks, University of St. Thomas and Maplewood Nature Center 2
  • Impact of biomass harvest (by haying) on soil nitrogen and floristic quality and diversity 3; Haying management for pollinators 4; Pollinator colonization of restored prairies 5,, with Maplewood Nature Center, University of Minnesota and Xerces Society
  •  Accelerated migration of southern, local and extreme climate bur oaks 6, with University of Minnesota.
  • Wild rice impact of water lily control on wild rice germination, with Department of Natural Resources.

*Research Sites:

  1. Pine Bend Bluffs Natural Area
  2. South Washington Conservation Corridor (SWCC)
  3. SWCC
  4. SWCC
  5. Fish Creek Open Space, Pilot Knob and SWCC
  6. Bald Eagle – Otter Lakes Regional Park, and Allemansratt Wilderness Park