Our History

CURE was founded in 1992 with a focus on water quality, but our work has expanded to fill the need for a rural voice on the many environmental issues that impact our region. We now have 3 programs: the original Water Program; the Climate Program, built around the diverse impacts climate change will have on rural communities; and the Energy Program, focused on creating a clean energy economy. Our Energy and Climate Programs grew out of work we did in 2005 when we joined the fledgling RE-AMP network.

CURE History Timeline


  • CURE (Clean Up the River Environment) is founded.
  • First Annual Spring Observation Trip (now known as River History Weekend) was held to make notes of problem areas and to celebrate the beauty of the river.


  • CURE had its first membership drive and Annual Meeting Banquet
  • CURE launches “river runoff awareness” project by stenciling storm sewers.
  • CURE arranges the National Guard Cleanup of the Minnesota River with the Upper Sioux Community.
  • CURE puts forth much effort towards changing the proposed channeling of the Lac qui Parle River south of Dawson. CURE intervenes for citizens at an administrative law judge hearing on the Lac qui Parle Floodways Project.


  • CURE receives outstanding Conservation Organization of the Year Award, given by the MN chapter of the Wildlife Society and the MN Fish and Wildlife Employees Association.
  • Judge Allan Klein rules against the proposed channeling of the Lac qui Parle River.
  • CURE places “Drains to River” signs along rural drainage ditches.


  • Minnesota Court of Appeals upholds decision to deny permit for the Lac qui Parle Floodways Project!
  • Cub Scout Pack #142 hauls one ton of trash from the banks of the Chippewa River.


  • CURE arranges fifth trash cleanup in Chinhinta Park.
  • CURE members appear on “Working for a Cleaner Minnesota River” program on Pioneer Public TV.

  • CURE works with former Board member then-Congressman David Minge and others to advocate for the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) for the Minnesota River. (1997)
  • Annual National Guard and Cub Scout River Bank Cleanup. (1997)
  • CURE participates in Minnesota River Basin Joint Powers Board’s “Run, Ride, and Row” event. (1998)
  • National Guard and Cub Scout Riverbank Cleanup on the Lac qui Parle River. (1998)
  • Minnesota River Bank Cleanup in Wegdahl. (1999)
  • CURE helps to organize the establishment of the Conservation Security Program in Congress. (2000)
  • CURE co-sponsors MRBJPB Minnesota River Summer Conference: Action Plan is developed by diverse group of concerned citizens and agencies. (2001)

  • CURE hosts MRBJRB Annual Conference in Montevideo. (2002)
  • CURE Board of Directors votes to do their best to fight Big Stone II Coal Fired Power Plant. (2005)
  • CURE organizes a bus to the State Capitol for BSII Hearings. (2006)

  • Through REAMP work in climate and energy, CURE was instrumental in the long but successful fight against the building of the Big Stone II Coal Fired Power Plant. (2005 to 200)
  • CURE moves into its existing downtown building in Montevideo. (2008)
  • CURE takes on the Hill Grocery House Project, acting as fiscal agent/placeholder for construction of an energy efficient house along with a group of builders, investors, and Habitat for Humanity, who will be the final recipient of the house when it is finished. (2009)
  • Lake Pepin Friendship Tours. (2010)
  • CURE creates position paper on the removal of the Xcel Energy dam in Granite Falls. (2011)
  • CURE hosts a Water Quality Meeting in Mankato with 160 people present for dialogue. (2011)


  • CURE Board of Directors vote to publically oppose the Granite Aggregate Quarry being planned along the Minnesota River in Ortonville.
  • CURE hosted an additional two Water Quality Meetings in Owatonna and Red Wing.
  • CURE hosted a three day Training Seminar at Prairie’s Edge Resort Casino with over 100 people present. This was an “Art of Hosting” event sponsored by the Bush Foundation’s “InCommons” project.
  • Long time CURE support for the removal of the dam on the Chippewa River in Montevideo is finally realized when Montevideo business MAAC, in cooperation with the MN DNR, takes out the dangerously deteriorating structure thereby creating a recreational rapids that is enjoyed by Kayakers and Canoers in the area.
  • CURE hosts six Listening Sessions in Clinton, Mankato, Granite Falls, Morris and Willmar.
  • Minnesota Falls Dam Removal Tour & Dialogue takes place with bus to dam site followed by supper and dialogue.
  • Disc Golf projects in Montevideo and Granite Falls.
  • Drop in Art Nights at the K.K. Berge Building in Granite Falls.
  • Citizen Involvement meetings take place in the Le Sueur River Watershed. This is an off-shoot of our Friendship Tour involvement of summer of 2010.




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