About CRWP

Continuing Our Commitment To Our Values

CRWP envisions a community that creates and protects a watershed with healthy soils; drinkable groundwater; and clean, fishable, and swimmable rivers, lakes, and streams. Our core values are resilience, equity, and engagement.

In the summer of 2020, we all saw a Minneapolis police officer pin George Floyd to the ground and ignore him when he said “I can’t breathe.” Three other officers looked on and did nothing. Floyd later died in police custody. This murder in the hands of authorities should never have happened, but it’s been happening for far too long over county’s history. 

After two weeks of watching, listening, and reflecting, we cannot be silent about this gross miscarriage of justice that took place (again) here in Minnesota.

Our thoughts are with George Floyd’s family and all those hurting in Minneapolis and across the country (focus is national change, not world-wide change, I think). His needless death made clear, if it wasn’t already, that the Minnesota many of us enjoy: places to birdwatch and jog without fear, access to clean tap water, easy access to groceries at neighborhood stores, is not available to everyone in our state.

We acknowledge that as a Minnesota nonprofit, our actions and inactions are responsible for the government and social systems in our state and across our country that oppress Black and Brown community members. CRWP is calling on its members, supporters, and friends to take action to address systemic racism in all its forms. As a primarily white-led organization, we are listening to our friends, neighbors and community members who identify as People of Color and Indigenous people.

As an organization, CRWP commits to doing our best to undo systems of violence and injustice, rewind the global impacts of climate change, and create new systems of resiliency, equity, and engagement as stated in CRWP’s Values Statement. 

We continue to find actions we can take together to dismantle and undo the harms caused by systemic racism in Minnesota and inside each one of us. We welcome and encourage self-reflection, conversation and then, most importantly, action. We hope you will join us in supporting the change that is long-overdue.

CRWP Board of Directors & Kristi Pursell, Executive Director

Cannon River Watershed Partnership is an environmental non-profit based in Northfield, MN, dedicated to engaging people in protecting and improving the water quality and natural systems of the Cannon River watershed.  In order to serve the community in constructive ways, we focus on three core values: Resilience, Equity, and Engagement.

View our strategic framework.

CRWP Strategic Framework 2020-2023

Want to see what we’ve accomplished in 2019?

CRWP Impact Report 2019


The Cannon River Watershed Partnership is governed by a Board of Directors and has staff who carry out our work in the watershed. To contact our staff, visit our Contact Us page.


Kristi Pursell, Executive Director

Kristi Pursell has a BA in English/ Environmental Studies from St. Olaf College and has a background in small-scale farming, environmental education, and leadership. She joined CRWP in 2015 as the Community Engagement Coordinator. In 2018 she became Executive Director and she looks forward to “making clean water happen” through innovative new and long-term CRWP projects and partnerships.

Kevin Strauss, Community Engagement Coordinator

Kevin Strauss has a B.A. in Environmental biology and Creative Writing and an M.S. Ed. in Outdoor Education. Before working for CRWP, Kevin worked as Education Coordinator for the Zumbro Watershed Partnership in Rochester, MN. He presents clean water education and outreach programs as well as creative problem-solving activities for CRWP.

Alan Kraus, Conservation Program Manager

Alan Kraus earned an M.S. in Agricultural Economics and a B.S. in Dairy Science and 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 for environmental sustainability.

Board of Directors (as of January 2021)

The Cannon River Watershed Partnership is governed by a 11-17 member Board of Directors who are elected each year at our annual meeting in May. Interested in joining us? Download the CRWP board member application and job descriptions! 

The Board meets six times a year – January, March, May, July, September and November typically on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 7 PM. Dates, times and locations are listed in the calendar of events.


  • Melissa King – Chair
  • Jill Trescott – Vice Chair
  • Kathleen Doran-Norton – Treasurer
  • Brad Rademacher – Secretary


Brad Anderson

Paul Carlson-Donohoe

Paula Corsi

Curt Coudron

Lee Dilley

Kathleen Doran-Norton

Richard Elsen

 John Hamer

Dan Hofrenning

Melissa King

Richard Lorang

Andrew Nusbaum

Brad Rademaker

David McKee

Jill Trescott

Join the Board!

If you want to do your part for clean water in the Cannon River Watershed, call or e-mail Kristi [see above] to learn about opportunities and openings on our board of directors. 

*Board members are expected to attend all meetings, actively participate on a committee and be a member in good standing of CRWP.

Download the CRWP Job description HERE


Area residents created the Cannon River Watershed Partnership in 1990 to address river pollution and flooding issues in the Cannon River Watershed. The Cannon River Watershed is an area of about a million acres of cropland, grassland, forests and small cities in southeastern Minnesota. Prominent communities include Owatonna, Faribault, Northfield, Cannon Falls, and Red Wing.

Early in its history, CRWP worked with local and county governments to help them work together to address river problems at the “watershed” level, since rivers don’t pay attention to city or county boundaries.

In the past decade, CRWP has operated in three main areas: Community Engagement, Conservation, and Wastewater. Our Community Engagement programs educate the public about how they can take action individually, and through their elected officials to clean and protect our rivers, lakes, and drinking water supplies.

Our Conservation program works with farmers and rural landowners to help them use conservation practices that keep their soil healthy and productive while at the same time keeping our rivers and lakes cleaner.

Our wastewater program works with small communities to help them plan and install upgraded community septic systems to reduce the pollution from older or failing septic systems.

CRWP also sponsors or takes part in several annual community events, including the Cannon River Watershed-Wide CleanUP (third Saturday in September) at 10 locations in the watershed, the Downstream Environmental Film Festival (February), Northfield Earth Day (April), and the Cannon River Art & Water Festival (May). Watch the events page for more details about these upcoming events.