Jennifer Tonko Joins Clean River Partners as Executive Director

Clean River Partners, the region’s largest clean water nonprofit, welcomes Jennifer Tonko as their next Executive Director. Tonko takes up the role in January.

For over 30 years, Clean River Partners has worked with community, government, and industry partners to clean and protect Southern Minnesota’s rivers, lakes, and drinking water. The organization works with city residents to reduce stormwater pollution and works with farmers and rural landowners to keep soil and crop nutrients in the fields and out of rivers, lakes, and groundwater.

“We are very excited to welcome Jennifer Tonko to Clean River Partners. She brings deep experience in collaborative projects with local and state partners,” said Clean River Partners Board Member Beth Kallestad. “The We Are Water and Why Treaties Matter exhibits and educational programs that Jennifer coordinated are excellent examples of this type of work. We look forward to continuing the quest for clean water with Jennifer at the helm!”

For the last seven years, Tonko has been a program officer with the Minnesota Humanities Center and the lead for We Are Water MN, a multi-agency partnership formed to tell Minnesota’s water stories collaboratively, bringing together personal narratives, historical content, and scientific information to help people learn from each other and inspire them to take action for cleaner rivers, lakes, and drinking water.

“I’ve been excited about the work of Clean River Partners ever since I had the opportunity to partner with the organization while working on the We Are Water MN program (2019),” said Tonko. “I admire how, under current leadership, the organization has strategically improved water quality and soil health by both promoting conservation practices and connecting with the public in the watershed through community engagement.”

Tonko takes over the role as the previous Clean River Partners’ Executive Director, Kristi Pursell, joins the Minnesota House of Representatives for Minnesota District 58A.

Published by Felicia Hokenstad

Communications Coordinator

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