Welcome to the Pioneer Valley Conservation Districts
Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden Conservation Districts (CDs) serve
landowners and communities in the Pioneer Valley in the conservation
and management of natural resources; farmland, woodland, and wildlife
management; and farmland preservation. Conservation Districts are state entities designated by the Massachusetts General Laws to address natural resources issues at the local level throughout the Commonwealth. There are fourteen (14) districts in Massachusetts, led by volunteer elected supervisors.
The Districts cooperate with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS),
a federal agency addressing the conservation and wise management of
natural resources (soil, water, air, plants, animals, human, and
energy). Examples of assistance from NRCS include:
- creating or enhancing wildlife habitat for at-risk species
- improving irrigation efficiencies
- controlling invasive/exotic plant species
- reducing soil erosion, managing manure and nutrient runoff into streams and rivers
- implementing forest management practices to increase health and productivity
- improving energy efficiencies in greenhouses
- promoting renewable energy on farms by funding Farm Energy Audits and the implementation of certain energy-saving practices.
- encouraging the adoption of agronomic practices (e.g. Nutrient management planning, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) planning, cover cropping and reduced tillage, etc.)
is governed by a volunteer board of supervisors. Historically farmers
and environmentally conscious landowners, today boards reflect a wide
range of people and professions. We assist agricultural producers and
landowners with conservation planning and applying for financial
assistance to correct resource concerns. The District programs improve
the health and productivity of all landscapes, urban to rural.
We also carry out programs and workshops, sponsor the Massachusetts
Envirothon competition for high school students, hold conservation
tours of local farms, and organize an annual plant sale to raise money
for these initiatives. Attend a monthly Conservation District meeting, or join your local District as a supervisor.