Last week, the MWMO partnered with Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR) to plant our gravel-bed tree nursery with 75 tree saplings. These trees will spend the summer growing dense, fibrous root systems in our gravel bed, and then be transplanted to a pair of habitat restoration sites in the fall — one at Nicollet Island, the other in the Mississippi River Gorge (in South Minneapolis, near the sand flats).
We planted two different tree species: swamp white oak and American sycamore. These species were chosen for their climate resilience; a blog post on FMR’s website has a nice breakdown of what that means, and why plant diversity is important in a changing climate.
This marks the second year we’ve collaborated with FMR to use our gravel bed to grow trees for local habitat restoration projects. Gravel beds provide an efficient way to grow trees in a small space. They allow bare-root trees to grow robust root systems before being transplanted, which increases their survivability. Our gravel bed also doubles as a stormwater best management practice (BMP), soaking up runoff from our parking lot and the roof of our garage.
We made a short video about the planting (below). We hope you enjoy it!