The Shenandoah Valley Soil and Water Conservation District’s Mission is to promote stewardship and conservation of our natural resources and to safeguard people and property with the consistent maintenance of our eight District-owned dams.

The Shenandoah Valley Soil and Water Conservation District was founded in 1940 and is one of the 47 Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. The Shenandoah Valley Soil and Water Conservation District serves Rockingham and Page counties and the city of Harrisonburg. A variety of conservation programs are available to farmers, businesses, and landowners.

These conservation programs provide both technical and financial assistance for the installation of best management practices that can have a direct benefit to soil, water, air, plant, and animal resources, as well as to you and your production. Funding is provided by local, state, and federal sources. Conservation programs are carried out by District staff and are governed by the Board of Directors. Our monthly Board meetings are open to the public.


Registration closes May 31, so sign up now!

Symposium: Our Karst Landscape and Water Quality

June 4, Blue Ridge Community College

CEUs available for DCR, DEQ, NRCS, Crop, and AICP certifications!

Registration and additional information

Local Teams Place in Area I Envirothon, Head to State

More on Envirothon

Manure Injection

Manure injection is an innovative manure application method now being used in the Shenandoah Valley. Learn more about the benefits and challenges of this important practice.

‘Virginia Home Grown’ Episode on Flood Control Dams

Megen Dalton, SVSWCD District Manager, and Cory Guilliams, NRCS District Conservationist, were featured on a segment of the June 28, 2022, “Water and Runoff” episode of Virginia Home Grown on PBS.  Watch the full episode.

 


 Winter 2023-24 Cover Crop Beds

About our cover crop beds:

Sixteen beds planted in cover crops, vegetables, and flowers line the front of the SVSWCD office. The beds, which are planted in the fall and again in the spring, offer an opportunity for visitors to our office to see many of the plants we recommend they plant on soil that is bare, especially in the fall in preparation for winter. A Pure Water Forum grant funded the installation of the beds, and Sunny Ridge Seed has donated seeds for the past several years.


Programs, Grants and Other Opportunities

  • Tree-planting tools for loan: If you are planting trees and need tree-planting tools, complete the reservation form to borrow the tools you need!
  • Rain barrels: Our rain barrels are back in stock! Learn more about purchasing a rain barrel or stay tuned for info on upcoming rain barrel workshops!
  • Pure Water Forum Small Grant Opportunities: The SVSWCD is a member of the Pure Water Forum, which has small grants available for innovative stewardship projects, research, and educational initiatives dedicated to the restoration and protection of the Shenandoah River and its tributaries. More information and grant application

 


Resources

Reducing Input Costs with Cover Crops

Learn more about conservation with cover crops:  Sustainable Chesapeake and the Virginia Soil Health Coalition have released four videos focused on how cover crops (a high-priority conservation practice for Chesapeake Bay restoration) can save farmers money by improving yields, reducing input costs, improving drought resilience, and preventing weeds.  Cover crops are an important strategy for improved soil health and water quality. Soil health is defined as the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans.

  1. Cover Crops for Boosting Yields
  2. Cover Crops for Fighting Drought and Weeds
  3. Cover Crops for Growing Nutrients and Cutting Costs
  4. Cover Crops for Future Generations

‘Past, Present and Future of Conservation Districts’

The National Association of Conservation Districts presents this 10-minute video about Conservation Districts and what we do!

‘Backyard Environmental Education’

This article is great for young students who are passionate about learning more about our environment!

‘Hugh Hammond Bennett: The Story of America’s Private Lands Conservation Movement’

Watch the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service documentary on soil conservation pioneer Hugh Hammond Bennett, the history of the agency, and the birth of the private lands conservation movement in the United States.

 


Want to learn more about what the District will be doing over the next few years? Read our Strategic Plan. Also, check out the July 2022-June 2023 Annual Report to get an overview of what the Shenandoah Valley Soil & Water Conservation District did last year!