Discover what soil and water district is all about

Published 9:00 pm Tuesday, May 14, 2013

To the editor:

The Soil and Water District thanks all the visitors to our Mill Spring Agricultural Center Building on Monday evening, May 6 at the workshop of the combined boards of Polk County Board of Commissioners, Polk County Farmland Preservation Board and the Polk County Soil and Water District.

We were pleased to have the opportunity to educate so many people in one place at one time about our mission and how we work to accomplish the mission.

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Our mission, for those not present: “The Polk County Soil and Water Conservation District is a government entity dedicated to the protection, preservation and enhancement of Polk County’s natural resources.”

Soil and Water Districts have a long history extending all the way back to the Dust Bowl in the 1930s. As a district we work with county, state, and the federal government, as well as other public and private organizations in a non-regulatory capacity to install soil and water conservation practices on the ground in Polk County protecting our soils and water quality. We are one of 96 Districts throughout North Carolina.

Our daily tasks include delivering state conservation programs to Polk County landowners, delivering Federal Farm
Bill conservation programs to Polk Count landowners, assist communities in natural resource management, respond to natural disasters by helping local land owners and state and local governments with clean up and restoration efforts. We also assist in projects of local interest such as conservation easements, environmental education. We also own and manage the Mill Spring Agricultural Center building.

The district board is governed by a five-member board of supervisors, serving four-year terms. Our supervisors are Richard Smith, chair; Frank Smith, vice chair; Hubert McEntyre, secretary/treasurer; Charles Dean Edwards and David Slater. The combined service of the five supervisors is 140 years of experience.

Polk County provides funding for staff and operational costs. The District Board of Supervisors and staff seek out and administer funds needed for putting conservation on the ground in the county. Over the past five years the district has installed over $6 million dollars of soil and water conservation in Polk County.
Persons interested in learning more about how to employ and practice soil and water conservation on their land, farm, homestead or other property, may contact the Soil and Water District Office at the Mill Spring Agricultural Center.

– David Slater, supervisor, Polk County Soil and Water District