In 2014, it is easier then ever for you to be a Conservation Crusader! We are fortunate in northeast Ohio to have a myriad of local organizations and agencies with resources to inform and educate the public on how to maximize their contributions to protecting the valuable soil, water and other natural resources so abundant here in northeast Ohio. There are so many in fact, folks are often confused on who to call.

Contacting your local Soil and Water Conservation District is a good place to start!

Did you know that 88 soil and water conservation districts (SWCD) have been formed with the same borders as each of the 88 counties in Ohio? SWCDs are independent political subdivision of the state. But unlike other forms of government, it took a vote of the landowners in each county to create each of the 88 SWCDs. SWCDs were formed on the premise that locally-led conservation works the best.

SWCDs are governed by a board of five persons who are residents of the county and elected by county residents and landowners in a special election for 3 year terms. The primary mission if each SWCD is to help individual landowners or land users become stewards of natural resources by providing assistance in the form of technical assistance, information, and education on how to implement sustainable best management practices. Working agreements with state and federal agencies help leverage additional personnel and resources and provide for one-stop shopping for variety conservation assistance needs.

SWCDs also build and maintain working relationships with other environmentally focused agencies within each county such as park districts, health districts, solid waste districts, planning agencies and watershed groups among others. So if you have a natural resources issue that needs to be addressed or just want more information, a call or visit to your local SWCD will help you get started.

Click here to find how to contact your local county soil and water conservation.

Also check out Conservation Crusader YouTube channel and "Like" the Northeast Ohio Conservation Crusader Facebook page to get local, state and national environment related updates and information on how you can be a Conservation Crusader too!