Environmental Quality Protection, Beautification

Friends of the Mississippi River

Working to protect the Mississippi River and its watershed in the Twin Cities area

aka FMR

Saint Paul, MN

Mission

Friends of the Mississippi River engages people to protect, restore and enhance the Mississippi River and its watershed in the Twin Cities region.

Ruling Year

1994

Principal Officer

Mr. Whitney Clark

Main Address

101 East 5th Street Suite 2000

Saint Paul, MN 55101 USA

Keywords

Mississippi River, Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Twin Cities, Watershed Conservation, Water Quality, Land Conservation, Land Restoration, Education, Events, Stewardship, Volunteer Opportunities

EIN

41-1763226

 Number

3919024201

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Water Resource, Wetlands Conservation and Management (C32)

Environmental Beautification (C50)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

The Mississippi River is an ecological resource of local and global significance. It is internationally recognized as a migratory flyway for approximately 40 percent of North America’s waterfowl and millions of songbirds. Here in the Twin Cities region, the river provides communities with economic and recreational opportunities, and is the major source of drinking water for people in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. The river provides numerous benefits: biodiversity and habitat for native plants and animals, diverse scenic views, a wide variety of accessible recreational and educational opportunities, a chance for community members to connect with nature in the heart of the urban area, and critical ecological functions such as flood control and ground and surface water purification. Conserving and stewarding the river corridor’s and the watershed’s remaining resources benefits all of us, and ensures a lasting and accessible natural heritage for current and future generations.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Watershed Protection

Water Quality

River Corridor Stewardship

Land Conservation & Restoration

Where we work

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Number of acres of advanced habitat restoration on FMR's 30 restoration sites.

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Land Conservation & Restoration

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of people engaged in environmental education and volunteer stewardship events.

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Land Conservation & Restoration

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

To achieve our organizational goals, FMR has developed a multi-faceted, holistic approach. FMR is laser-focused on issues affecting the river and our river communities, and we tackle them with every tool in the toolbox – from research to advocacy to habitat protection and restoration to community engagement and education – making a tangible difference for the river and inspiring river-lovers along the way. Indeed, our impact can be found at the confluence of people, place, land, and water. We’ve developed four interrelated programs that focus on water quality and watershed health, land protection and restoration, community education and engagement, and river corridor protection. Through this lens, the primary goals we are working to achieve include: • The natural, scenic, cultural, historical, recreational and public values of the Mississippi River corridor are understood, protected, enhanced and celebrated by local communities working in partnership with FMR. • An ecologically functioning corridor of natural habitat exists along the Mississippi River and important tributaries. • The Mississippi River meets all water quality standards and fully supports a healthy aquatic ecosystem. • Individuals and communities feel a connection to the Mississippi River and its watershed that inspires an ethic of active participation in stewardship and conservation.

What follows is a summary of our programmatic priorities which are outlined in our recently updated strategic plan and support the goals. River Corridor Program goals and strategies: 1) Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area (MRRCA) rules, plans and ordinances are clear, consistent and enforced. 2) Economic and park development in the corridor is sensitive to the river’s unique natural and cultural resources, and the decision process recognizes community input. 3) The Above the Falls vision for continuous parks and trails along the river north of downtown Minneapolis is realized, creating improved and equitable river access from surrounding neighborhoods and economic development that enhances the public realm. Land Conservation Program goals and strategies: 1) Land that is important to the river’s ecosystem is protected in perpetuity. 2) Critical ecological functions of the land managed by FMR are restored. 3) FMR’s restoration work is rooted in science and designed to have the greatest possible ecological impact. 4) FMR restoration sites serve as strong pollinator habitat. Water Program goals and strategies: 1) State level Clean Water Act administration is strong. 2) State legislative outcomes reflect FMR’s priorities. 3) FMR's water program effectively changes the water quality narrative and builds grassroots support for clean water. 4) FMR champions implementation of programs and projects that demonstrate the potential for achieving Minnesota’s agricultural water quality goals. 5) FMR leads an effective statewide water quality coalition. Stewardship & Education Program goals and strategies: 1) FMR annually engages 4,000-5,000 people in stewardship events and outings to learn about the river and meaningfully contribute to protecting and enhancing river resources. 2) Participants and volunteers are prepared and eager to participate in more events and activities, share their experiences with others, and make river-positive behavior changes in their personal lives, homes and yards. 3) Stewardship events and activities support other FMR programs and efforts, including membership, fundraising, land conservation, advocacy and communications.

Friends of the Mississippi River continues to play to our strengths, as well as utilize the strong partnerships and relationships we have built with units of government, local and national non-profits, businesses, community groups, citizens and other stakeholders, to move our priorities forward. FMR’s strategic plan seeks to build greater capacity for grassroots advocacy and engagement, and enhance our communications in order to more strategically impact the health of river. The plan also declares a commitment to equity and engaging diverse communities in our work, as well as fostering the next generation of river stewards by investing in programming aimed at youth.

Recent measurable results of progress, include: • Ensuring a strong framework for national park protection: For nearly a decade, FMR participated in, and advocated for, a process to define and adopt new Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area rules to ensure river-friendly zoning and land use. The rules were adopted by the State of Minnesota in late 2016. Since then, FMR has been working with the 25 riverfront municipalities to ensure implementation of the new rules respect the values of the river. • Protecting our most precious natural resources: FMR secured the protection of Dakota County’s largest and most diverse contiguous Big Woods forest remnant, Hampton Woods Wildlife Management Area, and began its restoration. We also advanced the restoration of 160-acres of the William H. Houlton Conservation Area from ag land to native prairie at the confluence of the Mississippi and Elk Rivers – one of the largest undeveloped riverfront parcels in the corridor. • Advocating for clean water policies: FMR conceived of and co-led Minnesota Water Action Day in 2017, 2018 and 2019 bringing together 40+ organizations and 1,000 Minnesotans for an annual day of water advocacy, including participation from several native nations. • Educating and empowering Minnesota’s river stewards: Last year, we engaged over 6,000 people in volunteer stewardship and environmental education programming – including nearly 2,000 youth. • Advancing equity: FMR established its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group to enhancing our equity practices and ensure each of our programs is pursued through a lens of inclusion. We also established a partnership with the Minneapolis Parks Foundation and Pillsbury United Communities to engage north Minneapolis residents to advocate and plan for new riverfront redevelopment and improved access to the river.

FMR is proud to share a snapshot of accomplishments from the past year: • Ensuring a strong framework for national park protection: For nearly a decade, FMR advocated for the adoption of new Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area rules, which govern zoning and land use regulations critical to the health of the river and riverfront communities. The rules were adopted in late 2016, and since then, FMR has been working with the 25 riverfront municipalities to ensure implementation of the new rules respect the values of the river. • Protecting our natural resources: After leading the permanent protection efforts, FMR began the restoration of one of Dakota County’s largest and most diverse contiguous Big Woods forest remnant – Hampton Woods Wildlife Management Area; as well as 160-acres of the William H. Houlton Conservation Area – one of the largest undeveloped riverfront parcels in the corridor. • Advocating for clean water policies: FMR conceived of and co-led Minnesota Water Action Day in 2017, 2018 and 2019, bringing together 40+ organizations and 1,000 Minnesotans for an annual day of water advocacy, including participation from several native nations. • Fostering Minnesota’s river stewards: Last year, we engaged over 6,000 people in volunteer stewardship and environmental education programming – including nearly 2,000 youth. • Advancing equity: FMR contracted with an equity consultant to develop an Equity Strategic Action Plan for the organization. We also established a partnership with the Minneapolis Parks Foundation and Pillsbury United Communities to engage north Minneapolis residents to advocate and plan for new riverfront redevelopment and improved access to the river.

How We Listen

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

Source: Self-reported by organization

the feedback loop
check_box We shared information about our current feedback practices.
How is the organization collecting feedback?
We regularly collect feedback through: electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), case management notes, community meetings/town halls, constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, suggestion box/email.
How is the organization using feedback?
We use feedback to: to identify and remedy poor client service experiences, to identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, to make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, to inform the development of new programs/projects, to strengthen relationships with the people we serve.
With whom is the organization sharing feedback?
We share feedback with: the people we serve, our staff, our board, our funders, our community partners.
What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?
It is difficult to: we don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback.

External Reviews

Financials

Friends of the Mississippi River

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  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Yes

Organizational Demographics

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? This organization has voluntarily shared information to answer this important question and to support sector-wide learning. GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 02/12/2020

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & Ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender Identity
Male, Not Transgender (Cisgender)
Sexual Orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability Status
Person without a disability

Race & Ethnicity

Gender Identity

Sexual Orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity Strategies

Last updated: 02/24/2020

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Data

done
We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
done
We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
done
We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
done
We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
done
We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
done
We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
done
We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.

Policies and processes

done
We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
done
We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
done
We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
done
We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
done
We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.