On July 14, 1949, Earl Coe, the Secretary of State for Washington, signed a certification making the Pierce County Soil Conservation District an official organization. Over the past 70 years, much more than just our name has changed. Guy E. Mains of Lakebay, and Joel Olson of Puyallup were the original supervisors and are responsible for helping create our District. We owe them and countless others over the past 70 years a deep debt of gratitude for helping build this organization into a dynamic force for improving Pierce County’s communities and natural resources. As grateful as we are for the hard work and dedication that preceded us, we’re equally excited about the next 70 years and continuing to evolve this organization to address the challenges of our time.
“Pierce Conservation District sets the example for what a modern conservation district should be: firmly rooted in the tradition of supporting the agriculture community, but helping communities deal with modern challenges such as food access, orca and salmon recovery, and creating urban green space,” said Congressman Derek Kilmer. “Each year they’re helping make Pierce County a better place to live, play, and work.”
While our Farm Team is still dedicated to soil conservation, we also now help improve the health of our community through improving food access, creating better water quality, restoring vital salmon habitat, and dealing with the challenges of climate change. While we’re working on the challenges of today, we’re also keeping an eye on the future, training the next generation of conservationists and farmers through our environmental education program and our Farm Foundations training. In the near future, we will be adding additional support for Pierce County residents with a new Shore Friendly program to provide technical assistance to shoreline property owners, and additional green stormwater infrastructure capacity.
We’re also working in more communities across Pierce County than ever before. Whether it’s working to conserve farms in Roy or supporting a community garden in the heart of Tacoma; providing a rain barrel workshop in Buckley or working to recover shellfish beds in Vaughn Bay; our teams are helping improve communities throughout the County, urban and rural alike. This holistic approach is not only inclusive, it’s necessary, as the health of our communities and our natural environment are intricately intertwined.
The challenges we face impact all of us, and all of us have personal responsibility to help address them. It can be difficult to know where to start, but that’s what we’re here for, to help you start working towards a better community by taking action in your own backyard. Whether it’s installing a rain garden, employing better farm practices, volunteering with us on a restoration project, or reducing food waste by joining us for a fruit tree glean, we have many ways for you to get involved and we can provide assistance each step of the way. You can be part of the solution, just reach out and ask us how.
Over the next 70 years, we’re sure to face even greater challenges than we’ve experienced in the last 70. However, due to the hard work of all those that came before us and our passionate and dedicated staff, you can be sure that your Conservation District will be here to help make Pierce County a better place to call home.