The Richland Soil and Water Conservation District promotes the wise use and care of natural resources for long-term sustainability.
Board meetings are typically held at 6pm on the second Monday of each month. Visit our Board Meeting page for upcoming meeting dates and agendas, and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The board is comprised of elected and appointed public officials responsible for the conservation of natural resources in Richland County.
- J. Kenneth Mullis, Chairman
- Jeff Laney, Vice Chairman
- Jim Rhodes, Secretary/Treasurer
- Hemphill Pride, III, Commissioner
- Mary Burts, Commissioner
Staff (Richland County Conservation Division)
Quinton Epps, Director
Chanda L. Cooper, Education Program Coordinator
Staff (Richland Soil and Water Conservation District)
Mary Hannah Lindsay, Community Outreach Coordinator
Richland Soil and Water Conservation District
2020 Hampton Street, Room 3063A
Columbia, SC 29204
SC Department of Natural Resources
SC USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service
NACD About Conservation Districts Fact Sheet
In 1937, following the ecological and economic disaster of the Dust Bowl, President Franklin D. Roosevelt urged state governors to pass legislation allowing local landowners to form soil conservation districts. South Carolina responded to this rally by passing the Soil Conservation Districts Law, which was signed by Governor Olin D. Johnston in April of 1937. This law stated that “the farm lands of the State are among the basic assets of the State and the preservation of these lands is necessary to protect and promote the health, safety and general welfare of its people.” It also allowed soil conservation districts to be organized as subdivisions of State Government to take positive action toward this goal.
As conservation districts were first organizing in South Carolina, multi-county jurisdictions were common. In fact, 18 of the original 26 conservation districts in The Palmetto State included more than one county. However, the advantages of working within smaller districts soon became apparent, and in 1947, districts began to re-organize themselves into single-county jurisdictions.
The Congaree Soil Conservation District (SCD) was formed in 1939 and included Calhoun, Lexington, and Richland Counties. D.C. Bryan and W.L. Morris were this District’s first supervisors. In 1951, the Lexington SCD broke away from the Congaree SCD; by 1953, the Calhoun SCD had been organized and the former Congaree SCD was renamed the Richland SCD.
In 1965, the General Assembly re-designated all SCDs as Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and so the Richland Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) took on its current shape.
Today, the Richland SWCD works to conserve the natural resources of Richland County by providing landowner education and technical assistance, supporting local and sustainable agriculture, strengthening the Midlands local food system, and engaging K-12 teachers and students in conservation through environmental education.