Oxford County Soil & Water Conservation District

Our Mission

The mission of the Oxford County Soil & Water Conservation District is to provide leadership, education and technical assistance in the management and conservation of agricultural and natural resources by integrating and disseminating local, state and federal resources.

We administer Education and Outreach Programs such as:

  • Agriculture & Conservation Day at Oxford Fair
  • Agriculture & Conservation Family Day at Waterford Fair
  • Oxford County Register of Big Trees
  • District Day at the Hall of Flags in Augusta
  • Envirothon
  • LakeSmart Presentations
  • Native Plant Sale
  • OCSWCD Photo Contest
  • Ossipee Fair
  • Plantings for Wildlife Habitat Enhancement
  • Skidder Bridge Rental
  • Tenmile River Demonstration Forest in Brownfield/Hiram
  • Water Quality Protection for Homeowners
  • Watershed Model Demonstrations in Classrooms
  • Yardscaping: Chemical Free Lawn Care

We provide Technical Seminars and Workshops such as:

  • ATV Trail Maintenance Seminar
  • Basic GIS Mapping Applications
  • Farm Pond Construction & Trout Stocking Workshop
  • Gravel Road Maintenance
  • Introductory GPS Unit Use Class
  • Invasive Aquatic Plants
  • Invasive Forest Pests
  • Invasive Terrestrial Plants
  • Septic Installation & Maintenance Training

We oversee Resource Planning and Protection Projects such as:

  • Coordinate and conduct Watershed, Riparian Habitat and Stream Corridor Surveys
  • Plan, apply for and implement conservation related grant projects
  • Stream Culvert Assessments for Fish passage

We assist with Technical Assistance and Fee for Service support such as:

  • Best Management Practice (BMP) Evaluations
  • Erosion & Sediment Control Plans and Plan Review
  • GIS Mapping
  • Gravel/Camp Road Evaluations and Maintenance Plans
  • LakeSmart Evaluations
  • Permit by Rule Assistance for landowners
  • Shoreline Stabilization issues
  • Site Plan and Subdivision Peer Review for Town Planning Boards
  • Storm Water Control Plan Review
  • Town/Municipal Assistance: 3rd Party Compliance Inspection (ME DEP Certified)
  • Vegetative Buffer Recommendations and Designs


Soil and Water Conservation Districts arose as a result of the environmental disaster of the 1930’s known as the “Great Dust Bowl”. This event brought the nation’s attention to the fact that soil is a precious natural resource as it takes approximately 100 years for only 1 inch of topsoil to form. During the 1930’s, farmers were losing about 3 to 5 inches of topsoil per year due to poor farming practices and dry windy conditions. Soils were being carried away by wind and deposited hundreds of miles away. As this life-giving soil literally rained down on Washington D.C., there was a federal call to action by soil scientist Hugh Hammond Bennett to create laws to provide the basis for creating local conservation districts. The Districts worked with local farmers, connecting them to valuable federal government programs designed to help them adopt practices which aided in soil and water conservation. Maine joined in by ratifying the authorizing legislation in 1941 to establish Soil & Water Conservation Districts in every county in the state. Today, we are losing topsoil to erosion at the rate of about 5 tons per acre a year, or about the thickness of a dime. The function of conservation districts was, and still is, to address the needs within the district for maintaining or improving soil and water quality.

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