Nicole Bernd, district manager of West Polk Soil and Water Conservation District in Crookston, is the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources' 2019 Outstanding Soil and Water Conservation District Employee.

Bernd was honored Monday, Dec. 9, during the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts’ annual convention in Minneapolis but was unable to attend because of inclement weather. Bernd will be presented with the award at a later date.

Bernd has played an essential role in two One Watershed, One Plan (1W1P) planning efforts. She acted as facilitator for the Wild Rice/Marsh Watershed 1W1P and has been a major contributor to the Red Lake River 1W1P process as they move toward plan implementation.

The expertise she gained through these planning efforts has resulted in numerous speaking requests by local conservation groups embarking on similar planning processes.

Bernd also completed a multimillion-dollar water quality and habitat project in 2018 on the Sand Hill River, coordinating multiple agencies and acting as grant fiscal agent and project manager. The project was completed under budget with greater impact than anticipated, thanks to Bernd’s sound fiscal and project management. She also coordinated the Minnesota Geological Survey Polk County Atlas project and serves as president of the Northwest Association of Conservation District employees.