Soil and Water Conservation District
About Glades SWCD
Our Purpose – MIssion & Vision
To educate the residents of our county on ways to protect our natural resources and conserve, protect and sustain our environment. “Conservation- it’s your future”
Welcome to Glades SWCD!
Glades County’s central location within Southern Florida, just over two hours from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando and it’s agricultural heritage makes it a unique area for emerging markets, thus making conservation a priority.
The Glades Soil and Water Conservation District (GSWCD) Board of Supervisors is a group of elected officials committed to the conservation of natural resources in Glades County.
The District Board is dedicated to addressing the issues that challenge the integrity of our soil and water resources. Each Board member brings with them a wealth of experience and expertise to benefit the County and its residents.
GSWCD promotes the wise use of our land and water resources by providing education about natural resources conservation to landowners and users. Every soil and water consumer in Glades County is important to us.
The GSWCD is devoted to the conservation and preservation of Glades County’s soil and water resources. The Glades County Board members welcome your comments and ideas.
Please feel free to contact us or drop by our office.
Help us continue to sustain Glades County’s soil and water resources.
Robert Hammock, Jr., Chairman Glades SWCD Board of Supervisors
Our meetings are held on the last Thursday of the month quarterly at the Dallas B. Townsend Agricultural Center in LaBelle at 1085 Pratt Blvd. at 10:00 a.m. and are open to the public.
For more information please call (863) 674-5700 ext. 107
2015/16 Hendry/Glades Plat Books - $40.00 Plus tax
1085 Pratt Blvd.
Dallas Townsend Agricultural Bldg.
LaBelle, FL 33935
(863)674-5700 ext. 10
The staff of USDA/Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and GSWCD is here to help you with planning and administering programs to help conserve and improve our natural resources.
Soil Conservation: 674-5700
Barbara Tillis – Admin: Ext. 100
Jim Sutter – District Conservationist: Ext . 101
Jorge Ruiz – Soil Conservationist: Ext. 102
– Resource Conservationist: Ext. 103
Christopher Zimmerly – Soil Technician: Ext. 104
Nichole Pennington – Engineer: Ext. 105
George Poole – Grazing Specialist: Ext. 106
Noreen Berden – Secretary/Off. Admin.: Ext. 107
Robert Hammock, Jr.-Chairman
Amy Perry Ridgdill-Supervisor
What We Do
Established by the Florida Legislature, the Glades Soil & Water Conservation District, a governmental subdivision of the State of Florida, was established October 9, 1950 under Florida Statutes 582 by local residents for the purpose of promoting and encouraging the wise use, management and general conservation of the County’s soil, water and related natural resources. The District is committed to preserving and enhancing the quality of life in Glades County through conservation of its natural resources.
The Glades Soil & Water Conservation District works closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) creating ways to conserve water, prevent soil erosion, convert irrigation systems and inform the public about conservation problems.
A Code of Ethics has been adopted by the district. For Code of Ethics Information. View Code of Ethics Here.
The Glades SWCD operates under Florida Statutes 582 under the Florida Legislature.
History of Conservation Districts
The 1930’s Dust Bowl disaster drove the United States Congress to declare soil and water conservation a national policy and priority in 1935; in order to obtain the support of landowners on a local level.
Soil and water conservation districts serve as a liaison between federal government and local landowners to address conservation needs.
Conservation districts are local units of government established under state law to carry out natural resource management programs at the local level. Districts work cooperating landowners and operators to help them manage and protect land and water resources on all private lands and many public lands in the United States.
Association of Conservation Districts- (AFCD)There are 58 Soil and Water Conservation Districts in Florida, all organized by local people for the purpose of promoting and encouraging the wise use, management and general conservation of soil, water, and related natural resources.
National Association of Conservation Districts- The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) is the nonprofit organization that represents America’s 3,000 conservation districts.
Glades Soil and Water Conservation District- In 1947 a petition was signed by Glades county landowners and sent to the State of Florida proposing the creation of a soil conservation district to serve Glades County.
The Glades Soil and Water Conservation District serves all of Glades County in the area of the conservation and stewardship of our natural resources.
Soil and Water Conservation Districts are non-taxing agencies created to assist the public in achieving conservation goals. Glades SWCD’s fiscal year is from October 1st thru September 31st. We are funded by Glades County Board of County Commissioners as well as donations and fundraisers. Click here to view our budget, audit report, and annual plan . The services that the Glades SWCD provides to Glades County residents are based on their conservation needs although our partners at NRCS may provide service in neighboring counties.
Assist landowners in their efforts to secure financial assistance through Farm Bill Programs to implement conservation practices
Conservation education, programs and information
Assist growers with development of low volume irrigation systems
Develop and update irrigation water management plans
Soil surveys and historical maps
Local government advice and assistance
- Invasive plant control
The Bradford Soil and Water Conservation District sponsors a number of programs that serve the Bradford County communities. Through community support and fundraising efforts, the district is working to build the number of services we are able to offer.
The annual Envirothon, Poster & Speech Contest and Land Judging are some of the educational programs with which we are currently involved.
If you are interested in volunteering for any of these programs, in having a district supervisor work with you on a project or in offering your support for our work, please contact:
The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) began a national program called Stewardship week to inspire Americans to a new awareness of conservation.
The stewardship concept involves having a responsibility to learn about and conserve our natural resources to leave them improved for future generations. Stewardship week is always the last Sunday in April to the first Sunday in May.
WHAT IS A BMP AND WHY DO I NEED ONE?
BMP stands for Best Management Practice and is a practice or combination of practices that producers can take to reduce the amount of fertilizers, pesticides, animal waste, and other pollutants entering our water resources. They are designed to improve water quality while maintaining agricultural production. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
(FDACS) has adopted several BMPs including citrus, container nurseries, vegetable and agronomic crops, sod, cow/calf, and aquaculture.
The staff of USDA/Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and GSWCD is here to help you with planning and administering programs to help conserve and improve our natural resources. Call Soil Conservation: 674-5700
- Barbara Tillis – Admin: Ext. 100
- Jim Sutter – District Conservationist: Ext . 101
- Jorge Ruiz – Soil Conservationist: Ext. 102
- – Resource Conservationist: Ext. 103
- Christopher Zimmerly – Soil Technician: Ext. 104
- Nichole Pennington – Engineer: Ext. 105
- George Poole – Grazing Specialist: Ext. 106
- Noreen Berden – Secretary/Off. Admin.: Ext. 107
Apply for Conservation Assistance
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
in Florida encourages farmers and ranchers to submit applications for conservation programs that may help eligible participants pay for conservation practices to prevent soil erosion, improve water quality, restore wetlands and provide habitat for wildlife.
Participation is voluntary and applications are accepted on a continuous basis.
EQIP-Environmental Quality Incentives Program
WRP-Wetlands Reserve Program and Other Easement Programs
CSP-Conservation Stewardship Program
The Regional Envirothon is a problem-solving, natural resource education program for high school students. It is a unique outdoor competition that requires teamwork and the application of knowledge in the five areas listed below:
- Aquatics – water ecology, water chemistry, water quality, and aquatic life.
- Current Environmental Issues – annually selected topics such as energy sources, ground water, Gulf of Mexico environmental concerns or other current issues.
- Forestry – tree identification, tree ecology, insects, and timber.
- Soils – classification, formation, soil properties, profiles, and site suitability.
- Wildlife – habitat, identification, food, disease, and management.
Each team consists of five students. Schools can enter more than one team, but no more than six teams. The five-member teams are led by an advisor in studying prepared resource materials in the five areas including a selected current environmental issue.
Schools can enter more than one team, but no more than six teams. During the competition, the students will rotate to the five testing stations.The Regional Envirothon brings together soil scientists, wildlife experts, foresters, park and recreational leaders, and other environmental specialists to challenge students to learn about our natural resources.
The annual National Conservation Poster Contest provides kindergarten through twelfth grade students an opportunity to convey their thoughts about soil, water and related natural resource issues through art. It also highlights the educational outreach efforts of conservation districts and their state conservation associations, auxiliaries and agencies. The poster contest theme follows the annual Stewardship theme. The contest is co-sponsored by the National Association of Conservation Districts and the NACD Auxiliary.
Each year, the poster contest starts at the district level. Individuals and teachers with questions regarding district contests should contact their local district. To locate your local district search our state directory. District winners advance to the state level. For questions regarding state competitions, districts should contact their state association. Finally, state winners advance to the National Contest. National winners are recognized each year at the NACD Annual Meeting.
**PLEASE NOTE: Check your state poster contest sponsoring group to determine deadline and theme topic and correct poster size. Each state coordinates their own contest. Posters must follow your state’s guidelines to be eligible for the national contest.
Go here for more information.
Land Judging is an exciting 4-H and FFA contest in which Middle and High School students in observe and interpret the soil in order to make wise land use decisions.
The skills the teens use at the contest involve principles that can be valuable in career fields like environmental and agricultural management, natural resources conservation, home building, engineering, and construction. Students can compete at the local, state, and national levels.
The Bradford Soil & Water Conservation Districts host local middle and high school students in FFA and 4-H to test their knowledge by judging soils from four pits that are selected by a Soil Scientist with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
In each class (Middle 4-H, High 4-H, Middle FFA, High FFA) the local county winner may compete at the state contest in that respective class.
Top placing teams in the state contest are eligible to compete at the National Land Judging Contest held at the end of April.
The District’s fiscal year runs from October 1st through September 30th annually.
To view the District’s annual financial report visit the Department of Financial Services:
- View Financial Reports Here
- VIEW AUDIT Fiscal Year 2016 here.
This includes the final, complete audit report for the most recent completed fiscal year ending September 30.
Get in Touch!
Glades Soil and Water Conservation District
1085 Pratt Blvd.
Dallas Townsend Agricultural Bldg.
LaBelle, FL 33935
(863)674-5700 ext. 10