Polk County Soil and Water Conservation District

Welcome to Polk County

Board Members Swearing in Ceremony in 2019

About Polk SWCD

Our Purpose

To provide education, awareness, and services for soil and water conservation, and proper utilization of natural resources in agricultural, urban, suburban and rural areas of Polk County.

MEETINGS are held bi-monthly from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month in Polk County.  Locations are publicized one to two weeks prior to the meeting.

NEXT REGULAR MEETING is September 15th, 2020. Due to the Covid-19 outbreak we will be having a virtual meeting Via Zoom. This meeting is still open to the public. Zoom Meeting Log-in credentials will be posted at a later date.


Water Conservation 

The future is now and water is one of the most precious natural resources on the earth for life, health,and welfare.

Here at Polk Soil and Water Conservation District, we are trying to conserve water in each project that we are involved in. We also are involved in education of water for improving better water quality in Polk County.

PDF of Water Conservation and why? 


Soil Conservation 

Soil conservation is important because it saves the soil through harsh weather and stops erosion.   Preventing of soil loss from erosion or reduced fertility caused by over usage, acidification, salinization or other chemical soil contamination.

Here at Polk Soil and Water Conservation District, we are trying to conserve soil in projects that we are involved in. We also are involved in education of  soil BMP’s for improving better agriculture  in Polk County.



Joe Garrison– Chairman
E-mail : jgarrison.pcswcb@gmail.com

Polk Soil and Water Conservation District
28609 Hwy 27 N
Dundee, FL 33838

The Polk County Soil and Water Conservation District is seeking a Multi- County Conservation Technician to assist with the implementation of The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) adopted Agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) program. This will include working with the producers to enroll agricultural property in the BMPs, assisting producers with the FDACS cost share program, Implementation Verification (IV) program and outreach efforts. The position will be based in Polk County, but will also require travel to surrounding counties. The applicant should be team oriented, independent and have an agricultural and/or natural resources background, with excellent computer and office management skills. This position is state funded, annually. 

Applicant will be required to:

  • Perform clerical and field work,
  • Complete a pre-employment state/federal background check will be performed,
  • Hold a valid Florida Driver License and
  • Have a good driving record.

Although resumes are accepted an application form must be completed and sent to: rmundy.pcswcb@gmail.com


Polk Soil and Water Conservation District
28609 Hwy 27 N
Dundee, FL 33838

Deadline for applications is October 2nd 2020


Conservation Technician

Position Description


This is a Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) technical and professional team-oriented position under direction of the supervisor in the Office of Agricultural Water Policy’s (OAWP) in partnership with the Polk County Soil and Water Conservation District (PSWCD).  The position will be assisting with the coordination and implementation of FDACS-adopted best management practices (BMPs) and assisting with agricultural related projects with the PSWCD.  The primary office of the technician will be in Polk County.  The primary area of the technician will be Polk County, but will travel to neighboring counties such as Hillsborough, Manatee, Sumter, Pasco and Highlands County.  This position will involve travel to agricultural operations, meetings, and tradeshows/workshops and will include a vehicle. These are the primary responsibilities of the technician position:

  • Assisting the OAWP team with implementation of BMPs and enrollment into the FDACS-adopted BMP Program by conducting on-site field evaluations of agricultural operations using BMP manuals, checklists and other tools to assist producers in enrolling by filing with the FDACS a Notice of Intent (NOI) to Implement BMPs.  


  • Coordinating with partner agencies, follow-up visits with agricultural operations, generating maps, data collection and analysis, and cross-checking parcel identification information.  


  • Conducting evaluations for the OAWP’s Implementation Assurance Program to assure implementation of FDACS-adopted BMPs.  


  • Assisting HSWCD and OAWP with administration, implementation and verification of the BMP cost-share program, such as the review of cost-share projects, invoices and deliverables documentation.  


  • Assisting partner agencies, such as the University of Florida’s Extension Service, in coordinating and conducting education and outreach regarding the BMP program.  


  • Assisting in education, outreach, and implementation of the FDACS’ responsibilities under the Florida Watershed Restoration Act/Total Maximum Daily Loads Program through producer enrollment in the FDACS-adopted BMP Programs.

Board Members

Joe Garrison – Chairman
Kyle Carlton – Vice Chair
Daniel Lanier – Secretary/Treasurer
Brett Upthagrove – Supervisor
Dr. Sharon Kay Masters – Supervisor

What We Do

Established by the Florida Legislature, the Polk Soil & Water Conservation District, a governmental subdivision of the State of Florida, was established October 9, 1950 under Florida Statutes 582 by local residents for the purpose of promoting and encouraging the wise use, management and general conservation of the County’s soil, water and related natural resources.

The District is committed to preserving and enhancing the quality of life in Polk County through conservation of its natural resources.

The Polk Soil & Water Conservation District works closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) creating ways to conserve water, prevent soil erosion, convert irrigation systems and inform the public about conservation problems.

A Code of Ethics has been adopted by the district.  For Code of Ethics Information. View Code of Ethics Here.

The Polk SWCD operates under Florida Statutes 582 under the Florida Legislature.


No creation document is on file. The first meeting was held on October 25, 1944, in which it is referred to Polk Soil Conservation District in the meeting notes. No records were found indicating a name change, however, the Florida Department of State currently refers to it as Polk Soil and Water Conservation District. 

A vote of landowners to establish the District was scheduled for December 5, 1944 (November 6, 1944 Meeting Notes). There are no recorded results in the Meeting Notes.

Service Area

The Polk Soil and Water Conservation District serves all of Polk County in the area of the conservation and stewardship of our natural resources.

Services Provided

  • Assist land owners in their efforts to secure financial assistance through Farm Bill Programs to implement conservation practices
  • Conservation education, programs and information
  • Assist growers with development of low volume irrigation systems
  • Develop and update irrigation water management plans
  • Soil surveys and historical maps
  • Local government advice and assistance
  • Youth education
  • Invasive plant control
  • Upcoming application deadline for Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) FY2019 funding.
  • Assistance Helps Ag Producers Conserve Natural Resources

Educational Programs

Free Meals for Kids and Teens

Para información en español haga clic aquí

Kids and teens can still get free balanced meals this summer while schools are closed! Summer BreakSpot locations are a place for kids and teens to grab a free meal with no application necessary.

This year, there are thousands of meal sites – many are located at places like parks, libraries and churches and offer breakfasts, lunches, snacks or supper.

Summer BreakSpot is available all summer long for kids and teens 18 and under.

For more information or to find a site, click the link below:




Polk County Public Schools will provide breakfast and lunch to all students at no charge for the 2018-19 school year by expanding participation in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) districtwide.

Please note that this applies to traditional public schools in Polk County.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the CEP allows districts in low-income areas to serve breakfast and lunch at no cost to all enrolled students without collecting household applications. For more information about any any changes in the pick up schedule and locations, please click the link below:

School Lunch Pickup Locations


The Polk Soil and Water Conservation District sponsors a number of programs that serve the Polk County communities. Some of the educational programs with which we are currently involved are:

  • The Annual Envirothon
  • Poster & Speech Contest
  • Land Judging Contest

Through community support and fundraising efforts, the district is working to build the number of services we are able to offer. If you are interested in volunteering for any of these programs, in having a district supervisor work with you on a project or in offering your support for our work, please contact: jgarrison.pcswcb@gmail.com

The 2018 theme for youth education is Watersheds…Our Home, Our Water:

PDF of Presentation on Watersheds 

The 2019 theme for youth education is: Life in the Soil: Dig Deeper

Life in the Soil: Dig Deeper….  Soil is a dirty topic, but everyone needs to learn more about it! Soil is the foundation for many of the items we use in our daily life, such as food, clothing, clean water, homes and more. Healthy soil equals healthy food, which equals a healthy you. Don’t treat your soil like dirt!

SOIL POSTER CONTEST RESULTS, held February 19th 2019:
K-1st  Amelia Pettet,  Winter Haven Christian

2nd-3rd Maddie Fountain, Winter Haven Christian

4th-5th  Bradley Giannelli, Citrus Ridge

7th-9th  Valveria Grillezeau, Citrus Ridge

10th-12th  Cassie Waters, Bartow HS

(The winners will advance to the area contest.) 

The 2020 theme for youth educations is: “Where would we BEE without Pollinators”

Click HERE for more information about the 2020 NACD Stewardship Theme.

The results are in!!! The winning posters will advance to the regional contest which will be hosted by Lake County.  Their meeting will be TBD.

Division winners-Poster Contest

4-6 Grade:              

1st Place- Allison Spooner

7-9 Grade:            

1st.  Place- Amelia Lynn

2nd Place-Chloe Lynn

3rd Place-Makayla Bustamante

10-12 Grade:        

1st Place-Jaqualine Edlez

2nd Place-Rylee Romor

3rd Place-April Draz

2020 Speech Contest Winners:

1st Place- Bailey Swanson

2nd Place-Chloe Lynn

3rd Place-Dustina Garcia



The Regional Envirothon is a problem-solving, natural resource education program for high school students. It is a unique outdoor competition that requires teamwork and the application of knowledge in the five areas listed below:

  • Aquatics – water ecology, water chemistry, water quality, and aquatic life.
  • Current Environmental Issues – annually selected topics such as energy sources, ground water, Gulf of Mexico environmental concerns or other current issues.
  • 2020 Topic: Water Resource Management: Local Control and Local Solutions.
  • Forestry – tree identification, tree ecology, insects, and timber.
  • Soils – classification, formation, soil properties, profiles, and site suitability.
  • Wildlife – habitat, identification, food, disease, and management.

Each team consists of five students. Schools can enter more than one team, but no more than six teams. The five-member teams are led by an advisor in studying prepared resource materials in the five areas including a selected current environmental issue.

Schools can enter more than one team, but no more than six teams. During the competition, the students will rotate to the five testing stations.


Poster Contest

The annual National Conservation Poster Contest provides kindergarten through twelfth grade students an opportunity to convey their thoughts about soil, water and related natural resource issues through art. It also highlights the educational outreach efforts of conservation districts and their state conservation associations, auxiliaries and agencies. The poster contest theme follows the annual Stewardship theme. The contest is co-sponsored by the National Association of Conservation Districts and the NACD Auxiliary.

Each year, the poster contest starts at the district level. Individuals and teachers with questions regarding district contests should contact their local district. To locate your local district search our state directory. District winners advance to the state level. For questions regarding state competitions, districts should contact their state association. Finally, state winners advance to the National Contest. National winners are recognized each year at the NACD Annual Meeting.

**PLEASE NOTE: Check your state poster contest sponsoring group to determine deadline and theme topic and correct poster size. Each state coordinates their own contest. Posters must follow your state’s guidelines to be eligible for the national contest.


Speech Contest

Polk County Soil and Water Conservation District sponsors an annual speech contest, which is designed to develop leadership and stimulate interest in conserving natural resources.

Kennedie Fisher won first place in the regional speech contest in Plant City over the summer and then placed third in the State contest in July 2019.

This years’ contests will be held on 2/18/2020 at the Leadership Training Center, 5000 Fire Tower Road, Haines City.

Land Judging

Land Judging is an exciting 4-H and FFA contest in which Middle and High School students in observe and interpret the soil in order to make wise land use decisions.

The skills the teens use at the contest involve principles that can be valuable in career fields like environmental and agricultural management, natural resources conservation, home building, engineering, and construction. Students can compete at the local, state, and national levels.

The Polk Soil & Water Conservation Districts host local middle and high school students in FFA and 4-H to test their knowledge by judging soils from four pits that are selected by a Soil Scientist with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

In each class (Middle 4-H, High 4-H, Middle FFA, High FFA) the local county winner may compete at the state contest in that respective class.

Top placing teams in the state contest are eligible to compete at the National Land Judging Contest held at the end of April.

April 2018 the PCSWD successful hosted the Florida State Land judging contest in Polk County at the FFA Leadership training center.


Budget Information


The District’s fiscal year runs from October 1st through September 30th annually.

To view the District’s annual financial report visit the Department of Financial Services:

This includes the final, complete audit report for the most recent completed fiscal year ending September 30.

Meeting Minutes

The PCSWCD District’s meetings are held bi-monthly, usually on the third Tuesday of the month..

To view the District’s meeting minutes report click the links below:

           2017                                                                2018                                               2019                              

January 2017 meeting                             January 2018 meeting                  January 2019 Minutes            

March 2017 meeting                                  March 2018 meeting                    March 2019 Minutes

April 2017 meeting                                      April 2018 meeting                      May 2019 Minutes 

April 2017 Workshop                                  May  2018 meeting                      July 2019 Minutes

June 2017 meeting                                     June 2018 meeting.                    September 2019 Minutes

July 2017 meeting                                      July 2018 meeting.                      November 2019 Minutes

August 2017 meeting                                August 2018 meeting                            2020

September 2017 meeting                       September 2018 meeting               January 2020 Minutes

October 2017 meeting.                                                                                               May 2020 Minutes

November 2017 meeting                                                                                           July 2020 Minutes

December 2017 meeting





Get in Touch!

Polk Soil & Water Conservation District
28609 Hwy 27 N
Dundee FL 33838

E-mail: jgarrison.pcswcb@gmail.com

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