About Us

Clean River Partners is a membership organization that has been working for over 30 years to protect our waterways, particularly the Cannon River watershed in southeast Minnesota. The core of our approach is bringing together partners with diverse responsibilities, interests, and backgrounds to co-create a resilient watershed. We connect people to clean water practices through inspiring events, conservation practices and network building.

Our Mission

We inspire people and organizations to value, protect and improve the Cannon River Watershed’s land and water.

Our Vision

A community that creates and protects a watershed with healthy soils; drinkable groundwater; and clean, fishable, and swimmable rivers, lakes, and streams.

Our Values

Resilience – Improve the sustainability of the watershed, leaving the soil, water, and communities better prepared for the impact of climate change and other future conditions.

Equity – Work toward meaningful involvement and equitable access of all watershed residents to a clean, healthy world.

Engagement – Provide opportunities for all stakeholders to engage in actions that protect and improve the natural systems of the watershed.

Our History

In 1990, a group of Northfield area citizens founded a group called Cannon River Watershed Partnership. Since then, we have inspired and partnered with local people and organizations to value, protect, and improve the Cannon River Watershed’s land and water. In 2015, our board structure changed and following that came the vote to also change our name to Clean River Partners. We have a strong foundation for our non-profit and look forward to the future and even more positive change.

Our Staff


Jennifer Tonko (she/her)

Executive Director

Jennifer Tonko has a BM in Vocal Performance from St. Olaf College and experience designing and directing the We Are Water MN program, a partnership of seven statewide organizations that builds people’s relationships with and responsibilities to water. Her work focuses on building collaborations, providing people with education and reflection opportunities, and building community capacity for systemic change. She’s gratified to continue this work in her home watershed as the executive director for Clean River Partners starting in 2023.

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Alan Kraus (he/him)

Conservation Program Manager

Alan Kraus earned an M.S. in Agricultural Economics and a B.S. in Dairy Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has 25 years of experience dairy farming in Central Wisconsin where he implemented managed grazing, pasture improvement, and no-till planting of corn and soybeans. As Chair of the Marathon County  Environmental Resources Committee, Alan worked with numerous local, regional, and state organizations to advance community goals of environmental sustainability.

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Teresa Tillson (she/her)

Administrative & Development Assistant

Teresa Tillson earned a BS in Speech Communications at Washington State University and MBA in Marketing at the University of Washington.  She has 40 years of experience in nonprofit organizations, including the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC.  A 30 year resident of Northfield, Teresa has worked in fundraising, grant writing, and major gifts.  Teresa has served on the Northfield Planning Commission, the Northfield Rotary Club, and was a founding member of WINGS, the Northfield women’s giving club.

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Hannah Mahr (they/them)

Community Engagement Coordinator

Hannah Mahr has worked with a variety of non-profits, libraries, and schools throughout their career as a youth and community educator. Most recently, they partnered with Arcadia Charter School to bring a free intergenerational art-making and supply-sharing event to Northfield, then continued the same program with Now.Make.Art. and Saint Paul Public Library in the Twin Cities. Hannah is passionate about preserving natural spaces and bringing people together for learning, connection, and change. They are currently pursuing an M.A.Ed. in Natural Science and Environmental Education at Hamline University, and they earned a B.A. in Theatre from Gustavus Adolphus College.

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Felicia Hokenstad (she/her)

Communications Coordinator

Felicia Hokenstad is a communications professional with a personal passion for outdoor recreation, particularly hiking. In addition to her role with CRP, she works as the Marketing Coordinator for the Winona Outdoor Collaborative and is Board President of the Border Route Trail Association. She has a bachelor’s degree in Leadership & Organizational Studies from University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh.

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Working with Clean River Partners

Job Openings

Conservation Program Assistant

This position assists in Clean River Partners’ conservation program in a number of in-field and in-office ways. Primary duties will include planning and conducting outreach that educates landowners about habitat protection and restoration opportunities and planning and supporting educational events for farmers and non-farm landowners to implement conservation practices that are profitable and benefit the water, land, and climate. If you are highly organized, passionate about the environment, and want to support communities that improve our land, water, and climate, this is a great role for you!

To apply, send a resume, cover letter, and the names and contact information of three professional references to Jennifer Tonko at jobs@cleanriverpartners.org. Review of applicants will begin September 29, 2023, and continue until the position is filled. Clean River Partners is an equal opportunity employer.

Students Work & Internship Opportunities

Northfield is home to two colleges, St. Olaf College and Carleton College, and Clean River Partners is proud to work with both in many capacities. Clean River Partners sponsors academic year student work positions at both colleges and regularly hires summer interns to support our work. These opportunities are only open to current students, so please visit each college’s respective job board posting for more information. Questions? Contact Jennifer Tonko, our Executive Director, at jennifer@cleanriverpartners.org or (507) 786-3913.

Strategic Framework & Community Impact Reports

Strategic Framework 2020-2023

Community Impact Report 2022

Community Impact Report 2021

Community Impact Report 2020