This past week I have been in the field a few times getting to know some of the programs that we have at the park. The first was a bike program where Mississippi National River and Recreation Area partnered with a non-profit that provides a bike for a day to urban youth who don’t have access to them. A ranger, a teacher-ranger-teacher, and I biked with the group along the Greenway, a top-notch bike trail that is part of the Twin Cities’ claim to fame as most bikeable city in the US, to the Mississippi River where we did a program on the park and the river ecosystem.

The next week I was able to snag a spot on a vegetation survey day to the southern-most part of the park. It was great to see research being done at the park and gave me a great jumping off point for a citizen science program I am working on expanding.

This week it has been all about habitat restoration events, HREs for you NPS abbreviation nuts. The first was a summer camp at a park managed by Anoka county, and the second was a corporate event in the heart of downtown managed by the parks and rec board.

All the events and park sites were incredibly different, so it was amazing to see the diversity of programs here at MNRRA. However, I did notice that they had one thing in common. Blogging about my experience in the field, it starts to become very obvious how important the role our partners play in this urban National Park. It begs the question: how can I strengthen these partnerships and begin to build new ones? And now that I have some downtime between programs, I’ll start to sort that one out.

-Kelly