What is a Soil and Water Conservation District?

The 1930s brought an ecological disaster known as the Dust Bowl. Huge black dust storms blotted out the sun and swallowed the countryside. While testifying on Capitol Hill on April 2, 1935, soil scientist Hugh Bennett threw back the room's curtains to reveal a sky blackened by dust. Congress immediately declared soil and water conservation a national policy and priority. Since about three-fourths of the land in the U.S. is privately owned, Congress realized that only active support from landowners would guarantee the success of conservation on private land. The idea for soil and water conservation districts was born.


Today there are nearly 3000 conservation districts--one in almost every county. Now expanded to serve all the conservation needs of our nation, districts educate and help local citizens conserve land, water, forests, wildlife and other natural resources.

The Clark SWCD was commissioned in 1942 at the request of the citizens interested in soil and water conservation, land use planning, and flood prevention. The Clark SWCD was the second district chartered in Ohio! Following the “dust storm” of the 1930’s it was realized that the States of the Union should become the conduit of Soil & Water Conservation assistance from the Federal Government.

What is Clark SWCD?

In Clark County, a steering committee was formed and petition carriers were established by Townships to get the required 75 signatures to put the creation of a SWCD on the ballot. On April 24, 1941, Clark County residents voted with an overwhelming 85% vote approval well surpassing the required 65% approval.

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© 2018 Clark Soil & Water Conservation District, All Rights Reserved.  |  3130 East Main St, Springfield, OH 45505 | T (937) 521-3880  |  For more information please contact us. All NRCS/SWCD programs and services are offered on a nondiscriminatory basis regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital or family status.  |  Developed by Holmes