SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The Great River Passage Conservancy today announced Katie Nyberg as its next executive director. Formerly the founding executive director for Mississippi Park Connection, Nyberg brings 20 years of progressive leadership experience and deep knowledge of the Conservancy as an active partner on the Mississippi River Learning Center project.

“I am thrilled to be continuing the important work of engaging community and creating opportunity around our greatest natural asset – the Mississippi River,” said Nyberg. “I look forward to making our shared vision of how we reconnect with the river a reality through the many transformative projects and programs the Conservancy champions.”

As founding executive director, Nyberg successfully built and scaled Mississippi Park Connection – a nonprofit that partners with the National Park Service to connect youth to the Mississippi River, steward the river’s wildlife habitat, and create meaningful connections between the community and the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. The organization launched in 2006, with just Nyberg on staff and a $100,000 budget. When she left in 2022, the nonprofit had grown to 10 employees and a budget of $1 million.

“Katie’s experience successfully leading an organization that brings together the public and private sectors to accomplish shared goals is both unique and incredibly valuable to the entire Great River Passage Initiative,” said Andy Rodriguez, director of Parks and Recreation at the City of Saint Paul. “I look forward to our continued partnership in her new role at the Conservancy.”

In her time at Mississippi Park Connection, Nyberg built out equitable and inclusive programming to engage the community; fundraised more than $6 million to contribute to the National Park Service and its many partners; and garnered government support for several projects and programs along the river, including the Great River Passage’s Mississippi River Learning Center, which just received $8 million in bonding money from the state.

“Katie is a known river advocate whose enthusiasm and experience is unmatched,” said Peter Myers, board chair of the Great River Passage Conservancy. “Her relationships, fundraising abilities, and passion for this work will serve the Conservancy well both now and into the future.”

Nyberg will begin her role as executive director of the Great River Passage Conservancy on July 5. For a photo of Nyberg, click here.

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