Cottonwood Restoration Project

In 2011, the National Park Service surveyed vegetation in the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. The results showed that cottonwood trees have not been regenerating in many areas of the river’s floodplain for decades.

Cottonwoods are ecologically valuable for many reasons, including providing bald eagle nesting habitat. To address this issue, Mississippi Park Connection, together with the National Park Service, spent two years studying to find the best way to plant cottonwood trees in the Mississippi River floodplain. A summary of our findings is available here.

Project Goals

  • Determine the best way to plant cottonwood trees in the floodplains of the Mississippi River
  • Get a closer look at areas that have successful cottonwood regeneration throughout the corridor
  • Share findings and information with partners and provide them with tools to conduct their own cottonwood plantings

Project Partners

  • City of Saint Paul
  • Minneapolis Park Board
  • Minnesota GreenCorps
  • Three Rivers Park District
  • University of Minnesota

The cottonwood restoration project is funded with support from the Mortenson Foundation and The McKnight Foundation.