Our river is a conduit for community, migration, inspiration and so much more. And on October 3, 2019, it's what brought us all to A'bulae to celebrate its power and our work to protect it.
Thank you to all 200+ friends of the river for your presence at this event and for your generosity.
From Whitney Clark, Executive Director of FMR
“The river runs all through my life. My dad was born in Bemidji, Minnesota near the headwaters of the great river. My mom was raised in the great river town of St. Louis, Missouri. Some of my earliest memories of exploring the river’s bluffs and banks with my dad on Sunday afternoons…
Indeed, each of us is connected to the river in our own unique ways. But something that is universally true and common among us is that water is life. And here in the Twin Cities, the Mississippi River is our wellspring. Our wellbeing and livelihood are inextricably connected to the health of the river. The river is why I go to work every day.”
From Paul Bauknight, FMR board member and project implementation director for the Minneapolis Parks Foundation
"As we’ve been on this journey together about equity, we’re thinking about what’s the fair and just inclusion of people in our society — which is not a passive sport. In my experience as I’ve been with FMR at the Upper Harbor, they’ve been willing to take that stand and say when things are unjust.
We’re looking at how do we make development along the river for communities what it needs to be, what it should be, what it hasn’t been? How do we make that change? How do we stand up to people when people are saying let’s take the easier route?"
From Mark Muller, Mississippi River Program Director at the McKnight Foundation
"My personal relationship with FMR goes back to 1997. That was when I, as a brand new Minnesotan, joined FMR for a Saturday morning bird watching trip along the river. Since that time, I’ve interacted with FMR in countless ways.
Thank you FMR board, staff and supporters for your willingness to play a leadership role in transforming the environmental movement and developing win-win agriculture systems."
From Allan Tokuda, FMR SuperVolunteer
“I’m a volunteer for FMR. I’ve been doing outdoor stewardship work for the last six years. I do the grunt work, like hauling thousands of pounds of buckthorn around… just last month, Alex led a group of us as we made enormous piles to be burned and to make room for native species.
Why do I do this? Why do I tromp around some riverbank trying to save the world? It’s a lot of fun. It’s great exercise. It’s very educational. And it’s a great way to connect with my community.
But for me, in addition, it’s quite profound to have an opportunity to try to protect this beautiful natural resource we have flowing through the city. For everyone.”
From Jearlyn Steele, emcee and local singer, speaker, TV reporter and radio talk show host
"I come up with a mantra every year, but this one has stuck with me for six years now. I lift a glass of water that the Mississippi offered to me today. Yes, it went through all of its iterations and had to come out clean for me to be able to consume it. But the genesis was the Mississippi River. I hold it up every morning and I say: Thank you for life, health, and strength.
It brings us life. And with that life it brings us music. And with that music, it brings us power. Music is transformational."