What Are SWCDs?
SWCDs, or Districts, are local units of government that manage and direct natural resource management programs at the local level. Indiana has 92 Districts – one for each county. They work closely with other forms of local, regional, and state government, private nonprofits, and educational institutions to provide a high level of conservation service to private landowners. They work to promote the wise use, development, and conservation of our state’s soil, water, and related resources in ways that are relevant to their unique localites.
Districts fill a unique and crucial role in conservation and stewardship: that of providing soil and water conservation expertise and services to private landowners. Ninety-six percent of Indiana’s land is privately owned. Land use varies from agriculture, productive forests, bodies of water, and urban or industrial use. Regardless of ownership, all lands are interconnected. Responsible and wise management of these private lands is key to Hoosiers’ quality of life.
Indiana Districts are closely tied to their communities and are governed by a board of local representatives, called “Supervisors,” who value land stewardship, soil health, and water quality. They also rely on the enthusiasm and involvement of over 450 volunteer conservationists statewide. Hoosiers have trusted their local Districts for over 70 years.
Contact your local District for more information!
- SWCDs are subdivisions of state government under the Indiana State Department of Agriculture Division of Soil Conservation.
- They receive funding from a variety of sources, primarily Clean Water Indiana. You can view the amount and sources of conservation funding in each Indiana county.
- Districts in each county are led by a 5-member board of supervisors, 3 elected and 2 appointed positions. SWCDs determine and address natural resource needs in their counties. In this way, they work closely with local landowners and residents. You can get involved with your local District as a Supervisor, Associate Supervisor, or volunteer.
- Indiana’s 92 SWCDs fund and provide leadership for IASWCD, their state association. Incorporated as a 501(c)3 in 1968, the IASWCD operates from Indianapolis. It provides legislative leadership, and fundraising, development, and training opportunities to its districts.