By Jerod Chew, Marion County District Conservationist, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service

“Out of the long list of nature’s gifts to man, none is perhaps so utterly essential to human life as soil.”  Hugh Hammond Bennet

We just recently celebrated 2018’s Earth Day and Stewardship Week, so what better way to honor these events than to start this post with a quote from the father of the modern Soil Conservation movement, Hugh Hammond Bennet!

Bennet started and led the Soil Conservation Service, now the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and pioneered the concept of local Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) to address local natural resource concerns.  Thankfully this concept caught on and conservation districts can be found throughout the U.S. and in every county in Indiana.  One of the many strengths of Soil and Water Conservation Districts are the partnerships that are formed with multiple conservation agencies and entities.  Anchored firmly in partnership through the SWCD’s is the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) , NRCS, the Indiana State Dept. of Agriculture, Division of Soil Conservation and Purdue Cooperative Extension along with many others such as the Dept. of Natural Resources and Dept. of Environmental Management.

Many SWCDs, such as the Marion County Soil and Water Conservation District, assist clients with a wide variety of conservation concerns like those listed below.  We generally can offer guidance, advice and potentially even cost-sharing opportunities.:

  • erosion control on private land
  • drainage projects/concerns
  • assistance for soil health and food production (large and small scale)
  • inspection and plan review for construction projects
  • wildlife and pollinators habitat

So if you’d like some assistance with making your property a little more environmentally friendly then give us a call at the Marion County Soil and Water Conservation District.

Photo Credit: PBS