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James Wisker

Job Title: 
District Administrator

James WiskerJames Wisker became the District Administrator March 1, 2018. Wisker, who most recently held the position of Director of Planning and Projects at MCWD, has led multiple successful initiatives since joining the MCWD in 2005. Wisker led the Permitting Department through a robust community input process during the District’s rule revisions which were adopted in 2011. His work on that process and his efforts to coordinate water quality improvement projects in several communities across the watershed earned him the 2011 Outstanding Watershed District Employee award from the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources. In bestowing the award, BWSR credited Wisker for his “dedication, diligence and vision” in his “amazing work for the MCWD.”

As Director of Planning & Projects, Wisker has led the MCWD’s effort to cultivate public and private partnerships that enhance natural resources, while leveraging their value within the built environment. Over the last eight years, his work on behalf of the District in partnership with local communities and businesses has resulted in the creation of the Minnehaha Creek Greenway; a series of improvements that connect, improve and integrate a revitalized Minnehaha Creek into the surrounding landscape of Hopkins and St. Louis Park. By positioning natural resources as a value-added asset in areas of economic development, infrastructure investment, and parks and open space, the District and its partners have restored more than 50 acres of newly accessible green space, treated more than 450 acres of regional stormwater, and established Minnehaha Creek as a critical component in achieving economic and livable community goals.

The success of this initiative laid the foundation for the MCWD’s approach to partner with others to achieve water quality and community benefits. Guided by Wisker’s leadership, the MCWD’s Board of Managers approved the “Balanced Urban Ecology Policy” which recognizes that MCWD’s work will achieve greater community impact through collaborative efforts that balance the natural and built environments by integrating and water planning. This policy is the framework for the MCWD’s newly adopted Watershed Management Plan (Plan) which has received significant support from its communities.

Wisker holds a Master of Science degree in Water Resources from the University of Minnesota, where his Master’s Thesis focused on integrating land use and water planning. He has served as an elected official on the Hennepin Conservation District Board and received the MN Division Isaak Walton League’s Stewardship Award in 2009. 

B.S., Ecology, Evolution & Behavior
M.S., Water Resource Science, University of Minnesota