River Views

As a member of the Board of Trustees for the Mississippi River Fund, I have the pleasure and opportunity to participate in a number of river adventures including paddles with our amazing park service personnel from our own urban national park—Mississippi National River and Recreation Area as well as trips with Wilderness Inquiry and the students and schools they serve through the Urban Wildlife Canoe Adventure program.

These photos are from an early season birding paddle. We put in at North Minneapolis' North Mississippi Regional Park and canoed about 4.5 miles to Boom Island. Along the way, we passed an amazing heron rookery, and saw the sites of the city and its stunning urban wildlife views, as well as tugs and barges and the power and grit of the river's industry.

1. Minneapolis Skyline view from the Mississippi

2. Some paddling companions

3. Heron Rookery

4. Mississippi industry

5. Green heron from my kitchen window. (I learned about this species on this paddle and was so excited to find one at home.) 

As I write this I'm struck once again at how quickly our river views change—seasonally, regionally, with the weather and passing time. Unfortunately this  image of the heron rookery is probably one of the few in existence, as last week's tornadoes destroyed the trees, the nests and many of the wildlife in this community. The good news is that our park service has seen signs that the birds are re-locating and beginning to nest again across the river near the Excel energy plant.

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