mississippi park connection

climate challenge: bigger floods

grant award: $247,600; year awarded: 2018

Increased flood frequency and rainfall in central and southern Minnesota have led to erosion and sedimentation along the Mississippi River, impacting local tree species. Green ash, a dominant floodplain species, is rapidly being lost to the non-native emerald ash borer, which has decreased the floodplain forest’s ability to control erosion. This project focuses on the ash-elm mixed lowland forest in the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, a site within the urban environments of
Minneapolis and St. Paul and visited by more that 9 million people annually. Nine permanent treatment areas will be established and each area will be assigned one of three treatments (resistance, resilience, and transition). These will involve, respectively, removing biological stressors, such as invasive species, accommodating some level of change through planting of diverse native species, and assisting adaptation through the incorporation of new species from nearby habitats whose climates are comparable to future local projections.