What We've Achieved
The Friends group for the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge was reformed in the summer of 2015. Since then, the Friends of the Refuge - Mississippi River Pools 7 & 8 (FOR78) has:
- Completed a $5,600 National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant used to lay the groundwork for a re-invigorated Friends group including: new board structure, new name and logo, strategic goals, vision and mission statements, brochure, and website.
Continued to run the Prairie Wind Nature Store located in the Refuge Visitor Center.
Developed skills within the Board to produce a Quarterly newsletter and develop and maintain a website.
Improved our Facebook presence to increase connections with the public.
Developed a traveling display booth for events which includes a Friends of the Refuge table covering, a standing banner with a map of Pools 7 & 8, touch and learn furs, ducks on a stick, turtle shells.
Provided an interactive children's booth at the Earth Fair and the Outdoor Fest in 2016 and 2017
Produced a 2016 Annual Report
- Co- sponsored Creepy Critters, and Waterfowl Observation Day with the Refuge and other area Friends groups.
Provided funds and assistance to Johnson Operatives to prune the Bur oak trees planted around the parking lot and trails by the Visitor Center. Friends removed the sod from around the oak trees and replaced it with four yards of mulch donated by Johnson Operatives
Removed unwanted vegetation from the gardens around the Visitor Center on three different Saturdays in May.
Began developing connections with the communities of Pool 7 & 8 by sponsoring a kiosk on the Wagon Wheel trail near La Crescent, MN. The signs should be installed by spring 2018.
Brought our membership together in February of 2016 and 2017 for annual meetings which included a meal and program.
Implemented a pilot 5th Grade Nature Writing Contest at Sand Lake Elementary School.