The organization of a soil conservation district for Henry County was considered officially for the first time on May 27, 1954, when sixteen interested individuals met as a sponsoring committee. A referendum was held in November of that year, and this resulted in the formation of the 85th district in the state, now known as the Henry Soil and Water Conservation District, which encompasses all the land within Henry County's boundaries.
Soil and Water Conservation Districts are legally organized subdivisions of the State of Ohio and are assigned the task of protecting and improving the soil, water, and other natural resources. Each SWCD is governed by a board of five supervisors who are elected by local residents and serve staggered three-year terms. The Supervisors meet once a month for regular board meetings, and also take part in occasional special meetings and training meetings.
Our primary mission is similar to that of every other district in the state; to educate and assist local landowners and managers, with the primary focus of finding ways to protect the natural resource base while sustaining a high level of productivity. Henry SWCD has also been charged for many years with administering the county's ditch maintenance program, under the direction of the county engineer. In addition to other goals and responsibilities, Henry District is directing much energy toward a very important goal: educating adults and young people in caring for our natural resources in a multitude of ways.
Henry SWCD operates on funds provided by the Henry County Commissioners which is matched by the State of Ohio. Local sales, equipment rentals, and conservation projects provide additional funds.
Natural Resources Conservation Service
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), formed in response to the 1930's Dust Bowl, works with the landowners to conserve natural resources on private lands. A federal agency with close partnerships with County SWCD offices, NRCS provides technical assistance for United States Department (USDA) Farm Bill Programs.