What is a Soil & Water Conservation District?

A legally constituted unit of local government set up by the State Soil Conservation District Law;  established through petition of landowners and by a majority vote of county residents.  Therefore, a District is an independent subdivision of the State of Ohio, associated with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, and funded by county and state taxes and local support.  The business of the district is conducted by an elected board of five landowners who serve three-year terms without pay.  The purpose of a district is to help landowners work together and to provide technical assistance for solving soil and water conservation problems within the District boundaries.  There are 88 conservation districts in Ohio and 3,000 nationwide.

Medina County History

The dust storms of 1935 paved the way for the birth of the Soil Conservation Service in our Nation. Likewise, erosion was a major concern for many citizens in the mainly agricultural Medina County.   A number of organizations saw the need for improving and maintaining the productivity of Medina County farms through proper land use and conservation practices.   As a result, on June 3, 1944, the 28th District was organized in Medina County. The purpose of the District was to ensure that farmers, as a collective group, could secure technical assistance in applying soil and water conservation practices on the land.

The newly elected Board of Supervisors developed a work plan that dictated special emphasis be placed on “proper land use.” Demonstration plots were established to show good conservation and erosion control practices. Such practices included contour strip cropping, terraces, rotations, pasture improvement, grassed waterways, forestry improvement and timber management. Additionally, the District was largely involved in the development of conservation plans, reforestation and installation of field tiles. (Eventually, in 1987 the state would begin a program to help landowners eliminate rose infestations).

Throughout the years, our District has been growing and changing—along with the rest of the County.   Urbanization of the County has brought about several new issues and challenges, which our office now helps to address.