James River Soil & Water Conservation District


About Us

The James River Soil and Water Conservation District is a political

subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia, organized and

managed by local people assigned under Law with the

responsibility of protecting and improving our soil and water

resources. The District was established on September 26th, 1940,

and at that time included Henrico County as part of a three county

unit. In 1975, Henrico formed a single county district;

Chesterfield and Prince George remain as a two-county district.

The Board of Directors (Board), composed of six citizens of

Chesterfield and Prince George counties, directs the activities of

the District. The public elects two directors from each county and

two positions are appointed, each serving a four year term. The

current staff is composed of a District Administrator, and Education

Director, and a Conservation Specialist.


We work with the people who work the land.


What is a SWCD?

During the Dust Bowl crisis in 1935, Congress passed Public Law

74-46, recognizing that “the wastage of soil and moisture resources

on farm, grazing, and forest lands . . .is a menace to the national

welfare,” and established the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) as an

agency in the USDA. (In 1994, the name of this agency was changed

to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, indicating a

broader scope of the agency’s mission.) To supplement this effort

and to provide a local level of administration, the Standard State

Soil Conservation Districts Law was passed, providing for the

organization of “soil conservation districts” as governmental

subdivisions of States. Franklin D. Roosevelt described the program

in a letter to each state governor.

In Virginia, Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) are

authorized through the Code of VA 10.1, Chapter 5. Districts in

Virginia are self-governed subdivisions of the State, and are

comprised of one or more localities. Each SWCD is governed by

locally elected Board of Directors, ensuring that they remain a local

influence with local people, local decision-making, and local

programs. There are over 3000 SWCDs in the U.S. covering about

98% of the country’s land area.

Districts accomplish their missions through partnerships and

leveraging of local, state and federal resources.


The District is principally supported by financial

assistance received from the Department of

Conservation and Recreation (DCR) with local

funding support from county boards of

supervisors.  In partnership with local, state and

federal agencies, the District provides technical

assistance to landowners,  units of government, 

and others to identify,  discuss and solve natural

resource conservation issues.  The District plan

of work is annually re-evaluated by the Board to

ensure program effectiveness.

The District has leadership responsibilities to

promote stewardship and conservation of our

natural resources due to increasing demands by a

growing population and the needs of a rapidly

changing society.  These responsibilities are met

through outreach,  education,  training,

technical assistance and conservation planning.

The objective is to recognize and implement

best management practices and stewardship of

land and water.  The goals and objectives resulted

from the strategic planning process and will

guide us into the future.  These goals identify

present and future needs of the District and will

help us meet the challenging goals of natural

resource conservation in Chesterfield and Prince

George Counties

How are we funded?