Staff and Board

Dave Pederson, Executive Director (e-mail Dave)

In the early 1970s I left Kandiyohi County to pursue education, adventure and employment. Along the way I completed undergraduate work at Augsburg College and graduate work at Mankato State University in Minnesota and embarked on a thirty year (plus) career in experiential education. It has been profoundly rewarding for me to have returned "home" to help develop Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center after stints in Northwestern Ontario, Michigan, Northern Minnesota, Alaska and Vermont.

Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center is a very special place for me. Within the boundaries of Prairie Woods is land homesteaded by my great grandparents who emigrated here in the late 1800s from Sweden. I am deeply rooted in this place through family history. In June of 2003 I assumed the duties of Executive Director. Previously, I had served Prairie Woods as the founding Director of the Challenge Course and Adventure Co-op. I am committed to having Prairie Woods be a place where people of diverse interests and cultures can learn to live well with each other and the environment. I hope that you can join us soon for a learning adventure at Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center. 
Kory Klebe, Environmental Education, Shooting Sports, YES! Coordinator (email Kory)

I coordinate the environmental education and shooting sports programs here at Prairie Woods. I started my environmental education career in 1998 and have worked programs in New Jersey, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, and Northern Ireland before coming to PWELC in 2010.

If it is: 
Catching macro invertebrates with school kids on the wetland walkway.
Tracking animals through the prairies with boy scouts.
Working the sporting clay range.
Manning our 34 foot Canoe.
I enjoy getting people outdoors to learn about the world they live in.
Mari Klebe, Office Manager/Time Travel Program Leader (email Mari)

I joined the full time Prairie Woods team in Nov. 2013, after volunteering and being a part-time staff member the prior three years. I wear many hats at Prairie Woods as office manager, “as needed” challenge course and environmental education instructor, as well as time travel program leader.

I gained my “many hat” experience through working for outdoor education centers in Hudson, WI and Battle Creek, MI. 
Growing up in Door County, WI is what built my love of the outdoors and a good Midwest winter.

Steve Friedlein, Challenge Course Coordinator (email Steve)

In 2009 I moved to MN from Texas to live on the family homestead. I started working for PWELC with both Environmental Education and Challenge Course programs. March of 2014 I moved into the Challenge Course Coodinator role.

Shelli-Kae Foster, LCCMR YES! Grant Project Leader (email Shelli-Kae)

I work with the Youth Energy Summit (YES!) program at PWELC as the Grant Project Manager and I coordinate teams in the north-central region.  Taking this successful model of youth-led energy action teams in schools into this region has gone great and we are planning to expand into the NE region.  I enjoy meeting with students and being a part of their amazing projects to reduce energy and waste in their schools and communities. 

  Before coming to PWELC I worked with the Alexandria School District on their Green Initiatives, produced environmental programming at Twin Cities Public Television and worked with local businesses to create sustain business action plans.  

  I enjoy spending time with my husband Sean and our 3 sons Manford, Kagan and J.J. 

  PWELC is a great place to be - I hope you will join us soon.  Contact me anytime to find out more about the YES! program





Board Members/Governing Board
Jeff Danielson,  Chairperson
Jim Tetzloff-  Vice Chair
David Nester, Co-Treasurer
John Clementson
Dr. Robert Kaiser
Dennis Peterson
Ron Halvorson
Harlen Madson, Kandihyohi County Commissioner
Rollie Nissen, Kandiyohi County Commissioner
Scott Glup
Sharon Oleson
Wayne Larson
Wayne Thompson

Claudia Thompson

Board of Trustees

Allison and Luke Geiger
Justin and Sara Bos
Kathryn Kelly
Joel and Cathy Halbritter
John and Mary Lindstrom
Dr. Steve Martinka
Mary Merlin
Brad Michelson
Denise Smith
Steve Linder
Paul and Sandra Vollan
Beth Anderson
LeRoy Dahlke
Bob and Pauline Halvorson
Dr. Roger and Kay Strand
Dennis and Karen Peterson
Joel Schmidt
Ron Erpelding
Christina Wordes
Steve and Shelly Erickson
Steve Ahmann, Kandiyohi County Commissioner