Gov. Bev Perdue has proclaimed the month of August Soil and Water Conservation Awareness Month in North Carolina, in observance of N.C. Soil and Water Conservation Districts’ 75th anniversary.
Anson County is home to the nation’s first soil and water conservation district, Brown Creek Soil and Water Conservation District. N.C. On Aug. 4, 1937, Secretary of State Thad Eure made history when he signed the certificate establishing the Brown Creek Soil and Water Conservation District as the first in the state, the nation and the world.
The original Brown Creek Soil and Water Conservation District contained only the parts of Anson and Union counties within the Brown Creek watershed. Included in this area was the birthplace of Hugh Hammond Bennett, the father of soil and water conservation. In 1947, the boundaries were expanded to include five counties, including Stanly, Montgomery and Richmond counties, in addition to Anson and Union. Over time, these other counties formed separate soil and water conservation districts.
Today, Anson County retains the original title, Brown Creek Soil and Water Conservation District. North Carolina now has 96 soil and water conservation districts, covering all 100 counties in the state. These districts are serving more than 85,000 schoolchildren and adults each year through their conservation education efforts.
In addition, these districts are instrumental in improving the state’s natural resources by providing technical assistance to landowners to help them solve their natural resource problems through voluntary, incentive-based conservation programs. Their actions are improving the lives of all North Carolina citizens through implementation of programs that protect and improve soil and water quality on both agricultural and non-agricultural lands.
The complete proclamation is as follows:
SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION AWARENESS MONTH
BY THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
WHEREAS, the first soil and water conservation district in the nation was established in North Carolina on August 4, 1937, by passage of N.C. General Statute 139 and was known as the Brown Creek Soil and Water Conservation District whose boundary is now Anson County, North Carolina; and WHEREAS, there are now 96 soil and water conservation districts which cover all of North Carolina and are led by 492 elected and appointed North Carolina citizens known as soil and water conservation district supervisors who lead local soil and water conservation programs; and
WHEREAS, the internationally recognized soil and water conservationist, Dr. Hugh Hammond Bennett, a North Carolina native from Anson County, dedicated his life to soil and water conservation and brought national attention to soil erosion; and
WHEREAS, Dr. Bennett recognized that a national soil and water conservation program with local leadership would be the most successful model for working with local private landowners in addressing erosion problems; and WHEREAS, at Dr. Bennett’s urging, President Franklin Roosevelt promoted sample state legislation that would create local soil and water conservation districts across the United States to lead and direct soil and water conservation programs at the local level; and
WHEREAS, since 1937, North Carolina soil and water conservation districts have been instrumental in improving the state’s natural resources through voluntary, incentive-based conservation programs, and continue to be the primary voice for the protection, wise use, and conservation of all of the state’s natural resources; and
WHEREAS, the actions of soil and water conservation districts improve the lives of all North Carolina citizens, both rural and urban, through the implementation of programs that protect and improve water quality and other natural resources of the state, on agricultural and non-agricultural lands; and
WHEREAS, North Carolina’s 96 local soil and water conservation districts deliver effective conservation education programs to over 85,000 school children and adults each year; and
WHEREAS, August 4, 2012, marks the 75th anniversary of the first soil and water conservation district in North Carolina and the nation and represents a significant milestone in natural resource conservation;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BEVERLY EAVES PERDUE, Governor of the State of North Carolina, do hereby proclaim August 2012, as SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION AWARENESS MONTH in North Carolina, and encourage citizens to support their local soil and water conservation district.
BEVERLY EAVES PERDUE