December 15, 2020

St. Paul, Minn. — Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) Executive Director John Jaschke presented the 2020 Outstanding Soil and Water Conservation District Employee award today to Pennington Soil and Water Conservation District Water Plan Coordinator Peter Nelson. The recognition ceremony took place during the December Pennington SWCD virtual board meeting.

“Local conservation staff are the driving force behind successful conservation delivery in Minnesota,” Jaschke said. “Peter demonstrates professional excellence alongside a commitment to collaborative planning efforts that benefit water quality within and beyond his district.”

Nelson joined the district in 2012. Taking on the role of plan coordinator, he was a key player in the successful completion of the Thief River Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan this year, and previously played a key role developing the Red Lake River Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan in 2017. He’s involved in SWCD education events, making classroom visits to promote conservation and playing a major part in annual events like the Northwest Minnesota Water Festival, Pennington SWCD Outdoor Education Day and Envirothon. Nelson administers multiple programs on behalf of Pennington SWCD, secures grant funding and works with landowners to find conservation solutions.

“Peter wears many hats, and wears them well,” said District Manager Bryan Malone. “He doesn’t go about his work looking for accolades, but his efforts make him extremely deserving of them.”

Each year, BWSR celebrates the excellent work accomplished by soil and water conservation district and watershed district staff that advances conservation efforts across the state.

Peter Nelson Pennington SWCD
Pennington Soil & Water Conservation District water plan coordinator Peter Nelson, left, visits the site of side-inlet work on Nov. 6, 2019, with the SWCD’s resource technician Matthew Sorvig, center, and Manager Bryan Malone along a Pennington County ditch system near Thief River Falls. Photo Credit: Ann Wessel, BWSR



BWSR is the state soil and water conservation agency, and it administers programs that prevent sediment and nutrients from entering our lakes, rivers, and streams; enhance fish and wildlife habitat; and protect wetlands. The 20-member board consists of representatives of local and state government agencies and citizens. BWSR's mission is to improve and protect Minnesota's water and soil resources by working in partnership with local organizations and private landowners