Conserving Natural Resources for Our Future
Our mission is to protect and improve the quality of life of the residents of Montgomery County and surrounding communities by providing, in cooperation with others, timely and efficient service, education, and technical guidance, for the wise use of our soil, water, and related resources.
Conservation District History
During the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s, over 100 million acres of farmland lost its topsoil due to poor soil conservation methods, and many people were driven from their homes. In response to this ecological disaster, Congress passed Public Law 74-46, making soil and water conservation a national priority.
The Secretary of Agriculture was directed to establish the Soil Conservation Service, now known as the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), as a permanent agency in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). In order to get conservation assistance to more farmers, the USDA drafted the Standard State Soil Conservation Districts Law, which encouraged communities to establish conservation districts to help protect natural resources at the local level.
In 1937, the first conservation district was established in North Carolina, and less than 10 years later, more than 1600 districts had been formed across the country. Today, there are nearly 3000 conservation districts nationwide.
Pennsylvania’s first districts formed in 1945 under the Conservation District Law (Act 217), which designates conservation districts as political subdivisions of the commonwealth responsible for conservation of soil, water and related resources. Today, every county has a conservation district, except for Philadelphia, which is considered an Urban Conservation Partnership performing similar functions.
Montgomery County Conservation District was formed as a result of a petition signed by 587 farmers who thought a Soil Conservation District would benefit the area. After a meeting of the county commissioners, the State Soil Conservation Commission and county-wide farm organizations, the commissioners unanimously adopted a resolution to form a conservation district on October 16, 1956.
How Districts Work
The State Conservation Commission (SCC), housed under the PA Department of Agriculture, provides support, funding, administration and oversight for Pennsylvania’s conservation districts. These agencies influence district programs, staff and funding.
Districts may enter into agreements with the state to provide certain programs, such as Erosion and Sediment Control, Watershed Specialist role, and the Nutrient Management Act Program. Districts are able to use technical, funding and educational resources to work with landowners and other cooperators to meet local conservation needs.
Each district is led by an unpaid board of directors consisting of farmer members, public members and a member of county government. New directors must be submitted by a nominating organization and approved by the county commissioners to serve a 4-year term. Public board meetings are held monthly.
Montgomery County Conservation District’s board meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month at 9:00am at the district office.
Current Nominating Organizations
|Bucks/Montgomery Home Builders Association||Delaware Valley Chapter, PA Society of Land Surveyors|
|Montgomery County Open Space Board||Montgomery County Agricultural Land Preservation Board|
|Montgomery County Beekeepers Association||Montgomery County Farm Bureau|
|Montgomery County Holstein Breeders Association||Montgomery County Pomona Grange #8|
|Montgomery County Association of Township Officials||Montgomery County Council, League of Women Voters|
|Montgomery County Young Farmer’s Association||Penn State Cooperative Extension|
|Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust||Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy|
|Valley Forge Chapter, Penn. Society of Professional Engineers|