This year at CURE’s 22nd Annual Meeting, CURE awarded four individuals and one business for their excellence in environmental stewardship.

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Every year since 1994, Clean Up the River Environment (CURE) has awarded individuals, organizations or government agencies who have worked in an exemplary manner over the past year to carry out CURE’s mission to “focus public awareness on the Minnesota River Watershed and to take action to restore and protect its water quality, biological integrity and natural beauty for all generations.” This year at CURE’s 22nd Annual Meeting, CURE awarded four individuals and one business for their excellence in environmental stewardship.
Kylene Olson of Watson, MN and the Executive Director of the Chippewa River Watershed Project was awarded the RiverKeeper Award for over 16 years of exemplary watershed work. The RiverKeeper Award is a hand made plate donated every year by Tokheim Stoneware inscribed with a bible verse from Amos:  "May justice flow like water and integrity as an unfailing stream." Justice and integrity are rare traits but CURE found them within Kylene Olson’s work.
Olson, who was born and raised in the Chippewa River Watershed, now directs the protection and improvement of that same watershed. In 1998, she became the first executive director of the Chippewa River Watershed Project, a non-regulatory, cooperative partnership and citizen-based approach focused on improving water quality and watershed life in the Chippewa River and its tributaries. Her knowledge of local conditions has given Olson an opportunity to work with citizens and government agencies on a shared vision for improving water quality in the watershed.
Audrey Arner, a past RiverKeeper Award recipient, described Olson to attendees, “she is known for her dedication, depth of knowledge and deep passion for the work she does and the place in which she lives. She is also recognized for her ability to communicate complex and often controversial information across sectors and interests. Her success is generated from others trusting her motives and analysis.”
The RiverKeeper Award is a hand made plate donated every year by Tokheim Stoneware inscribed with a bible verse from Amos:  "May justice flow like water and integrity as an unfailing stream."  Justice and integrity are rare traits but CURE found them within Kylene Olson’s work.

Other winners:
Representative Andrew Falk of district 17A was awarded the Kubly Good Government Award. This award is given to a civil servant or government agency that has made a key contribution or set an example of how we can work together to protect the water quality, natural beauty and biological integrity of the Minnesota River Watershed.
Prairie’s Edge Casino Resort's Green Team was awarded the Good Business Award. This award is given to companies, farms and/or entrepreneurs who have gone the extra mile to support a healthy and diverse Minnesota River Watershed environment.
Tom Cherveny, a long-time reporter for the West Central Tribune, was awarded the Good Media Award for his Outdoors blog and excellence in reporting on environmental issues. This award is given each year to an individual or news organization that creates awareness about the Minnesota River and the issues affecting it. CURE depends on the media to fulfill its mission to focus public awareness on the Minnesota River Watershed.
Vonnie Saquilan of Granite Falls was awarded Volunteer of the Year Award. CURE depends on volunteers to carry out our annual calendar of events such as the Annual Meeting, River History Weekend, our Events & Adventures activities, river cleanups and dozens of other events we organize in the course of a year.
The RiverKeeper Award is a hand made plate donated every year by Tokheim Stoneware inscribed with a bible verse from Amos:  "May justice flow like water and integrity as an unfailing stream."  Justice and integrity are rare traits but CURE found them within Kylene Olson’s work.