Conservation Districts: Bettering Communities Since 1945

If you like to drink clean water, eat, swim, fish, camp, garden, hike, watch birds, or go boating then you benefit from the work of Pennsylvania’s county conservation districts!

Even though the impacts are seen all around us, the work of the 66 conservation districts across Pennsylvania goes largely unnoticed by the public. They have been quietly working locally for clean water and healthy soil since 1945 under the Conservation District Law.

These grass-roots offices partner with local groups, as well as state and federal agencies to make a difference in our communities.

“Each day conservation districts help farmers, landowners, homeowners, construction companies, townships, educators, and others. Whether they are working with a developer to reduce pollution or a homeowner to install a rain barrel, conservation districts work every day to make their communities better,” said Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts Executive Director Brenda Shambaugh. “They are the unsung heroes in your neighborhood who monitor local streams and ensure enough clean water for future generations,” she added.

Because they focus on local issues, each conservation district has different programs. Some districts deal with cleaning up orange creeks (a result of abandoned mines), educating on sustainable forestry, or working with townships to reduce flooding. Others help farmers create healthier soil, provide educational programs for the public, or fix dirt and gravel roads to reduce pollution to nearby streams. If there is an environmental issue in your county, chances are good that the conservation district is involved.

With increasing resource concerns, the work of the conservation districts is more important than ever. Conservation districts have been working for 70 years to create livable, sustainable communities – long before these terms became buzzwords. Visit to find your local conservation district and how to support their work.

For links to the Conservation Districts within the Main Line Canal Greenway.