Conservation Districts – why are they important?

Mon. Dec. 21, 2020

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Conservation Districts – why are they important?

The United States has 3,000 Conservation Districts.  Many are called Soil and Water Conservation Districts. They are an important part of working with climate change by working with millions of cooperating landowners and operators to help them manage and protect land and water resources on private and public lands in the United States.

The association was founded on the philosophy that conservation decisions should be made at the local level with technical and funding assistance from federal, state, and local governments and the private sector. While not all are called Soil & Water, almost every state has some type of Conservation District.   Minnesota, Wisconsin and South Dakota, among others, include “renewable natural resources”. 

  Three years ago I bought plant from the Rice County SWCD for my butterfly garden a few years ago.  They do an amazing job of raising native plants for sale in the Spring.

July 2017 butterfly garden

Check your local Conservation Districts to see what they offer the home gardener. They offer the butterfly garden along with a rain garden selection.  Native Plants specifically selected for my area. They also sell trees and shrubs. 

Butterfly garden 8-13-17 – the orange flower up front in native Butterfly weed
Asters in butterfly garden 2019

I can select transplants, pot grown and/or bareroot natives.  One offering on the list is the Thornless Honeylocust. 

Thornless Honeylocust

I love this airy, easy care, fast growing tree.  Its delicate leaves are finely-textured so you get this amazing graceful shimmer even in a light breeze! 

It gives beautiful filtered shade and has delicate, sweet smelling white flowers in Spring and yellow-gold fall foliage.  It also has these cool looking brown seed pods that are great for crafting.  Oh, and it’s really tolerant of urban spaces.