Soil & Water Conservation District

Students learn about the importance of soil and water conservation practices during Okeechobee County Ag Venture.

Pictured are employees from various agencies

Pictured above are OSWCD Board Chairman Mariano Corona with Audrey Kuipers, FCDEA 2022 Employee of the Year, and Robbi Sumner, Program Specialist.


Our next Board meeting will be held October 11th at 1:00PM at our OSWCD Board Room, 200 NW 5th Street, Okeechobee. General Business will be discussed. For more information, please contact audrey.kuipers@okeechobeeswcd.org or call 863.763.3619 ext. 3, no later than October 9th at 10:00AM. 

WE ARE HIRING! Please visit our “About” page to see the Position Announcement. 


Audrey Kuipers, District Administrator
Robbi Sumner, Program Specialist
Vicki Wheeler, Conservation Technician


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Board Members

Mariano Corona, Chair
Douglas Burnham
Nicki Smith
Don Sellers, Jr.
Glynn Rutledge, Secretary/Treasurer


due to text is adjacent to the image.

Pictured are OSWCD Board members. From left to right, Douglas Burnham, Glynn Rutledge, Donald Sellers, Mariano Corona, and Nicki Smith.

What We Do

Established by the Florida Legislature, the Okeechobee Soil & Water Conservation District was established October 9, 1950 under Florida Statutes 582. OSWCD is a governmental subdivision of the State of Florida created 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 Okeechobee County through conservation of its natural resources. Soil and Water Conservation Districts are non-taxing and are supported by maintaining relationships and partnership with other government agencies.

The Okeechobee Soil & Water Conservation District works closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), creating ways to conserve water, prevent soil erosion, convert irrigation systems and inform the public about conservation problems.

Mission Statement

As an agency of the State, the Okeechobee Soil and Water Conservation District is responsible for developing and carrying out locally-led programs for the conservation, protection, and development of soil, water, and land for agricultural purposes. 

Service Area

There are 52 Soil and Water Conservation Districts in Florida, all organized by local constituents for the purpose of promoting and encouraging the wise use, management and general conservation of soil, water, and related natural resources.



Services Provided

  • Provide technical assistance with conservation planning and best management practice implementation.
  • Partner with state and federal governments to provide environmental incentive programs to landowners.
  • Administer funds for the State of Florida.
  • Educate youth through various programs including the district speech and poster contests, land judging competition, Envirothon competition, and Ag-Venture program.
  • Provide educator grants available to public, private, and home school educators interested in implementing soil and water conservation programs in their classrooms.
  • Educate the public through environmental/agricultural presentations.
  • Serve as the FWC monofilament recovery and recycling program coordinator for Okeechobee. Bins have been placed throughout the county to collect line and keep it out of our waterways. Collected line is sent to Berkley-Pure Fishing for recycling into tackle boxes, toys, and other products.


For more information on the District’s educational programs, please visit the “Educational Programs” tab on our website. To learn more about the assistance programs, click here.


Get in Touch!

452 US Highway 98 North
Okeechobee, FL 34974
Phone: 863.763.3619, ext. 3
Hours: Monday-Friday From 8:00am to 4:30pm

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