On January 28, 1949 the Ashtabula Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) was formally organized. Organized by interest and concerned land users from all parts of the county, its beginning was a humble, yet marked event in the development and enhancement of the county’s soil and water resources, their maintenance and their use.

House Bill 646
Enabling legislation enacted in 1941, House Bill 646, was the means by which the county’s land users, concerned with their eroding cropland and poorly drained soils, were able to officially and legally organize an agency to help them resolve their land use problems.

Water & Soil
The 74th district to be organized in Ohio, the Ashtabula County SWCD was originally called The Soil Conservation District. As the district’s program enlarged and diversified over the years, the name was changed to reflect this. In 1968 the district’s official name was changed to include “Water”. The importance of maintaining water quality in our lakes, rivers and streams was very well known, and as sedimentation is an integral component in erosion control, it was only natural that the then called Soil Conservation District focus its attention on downstream water quality as well as upland watershed erosion control.

A Soil and Water Conservation District is an independent body of our state government responsible for the conservation of soil and water resources within its boundaries. The district’s formation provided an opportunity for local people to organize and implement local natural resource management programs. 5 elected land users comprise a board of supervisors, which governs the operation of the district. To carry out its long-range program, the district provides leadership by encouraging maximum participation of the general public and local public and private agencies and organizations on the implementation of natural resource management programs.

The major function of the district is to analyze natural resource needs and to design and implement a program to solve soil and water conservation problems. Through the district, the problems are solved largely by landowners themselves, with technical and educational assistance furnished by the district and other agencies of government. And since 1949, the district’s cooperators have achieved a great deal.