Ever since the Dutchess County Soil and Water Conservation District began on January 3, 1945, it has worked to meet the needs of local and county governments, farmers, landowners, and other land users. The District identifies and assesses problems dealing with the conservation of our county’s resources and then developes, and carries out, programs to solve them. The outstanding technical expertise of the District in the areas of soil erosion, water management, forestry, organic waste management, water quality preservation, and recreational development, enable it to provide specialized assistance for a variety of issues facing Dutchess County today.
The District has many beneficial programs for county residents. The Annual Tree and Shrubs Sale serves over one thousand homeowners each year by providing seedlings for wildlife habitat and soil conservation. The District also works to emphasize the importance of Arbor Day and the need to reforest harvested land. The Pond Assistance Program offers grass carp stocking and guidance on aquatic plant control. Educational programs are presented at area schools. The District sponsors participation in the nationally recognized “Envirothon”, workshops and short courses for professionals, and Conservation Field Days. Informative displays are set up at annual events such as the Dutchess County Fair, local festivals, and Future Farmers of America Fair. The Dutchess County Soil and Water Conservation District maintains soil information, topographic maps, aerial photos, wetland maps, and flood zone maps for all of Dutchess County. Today, the District advises on soils, drainage, soil erosion, and land use. The Agriculture Environmental Management (AEM) Program provides the tools necessary for the farming communities to document their stewardship and address current and potential water quality issues through assessment and state program delivery that remediates those identified problem areas. Stormwater Management provides technical service to both the public and private sectors in order to address water quality and quantity issues in the urban and suburban. Dry hydrants being installed provide the fire departments with a secure source of water for fire protection within their communities.
The Board of Directors will continue to strive to serve the residents of Dutchess County by identifying natural resource needs and seeking both public and private partners to address those needs.