Established in 1967 under New York state law by the then County Board of Supervisors, the Westchester County Soil and Water Conservation District is charged with developing and carrying out soil, water and related natural resources conservation, management and educational activities. Professionals from the county Planning Department provide administrative and technical support to the District’s seven-member citizen board of directors.

What is Bugging Our Forests? - Webinar October 18, 2022

This webinar "What is Bugging Our Forests?" is the first of two Soil and Water Conservation District conferences, to be held on October 18, 2022 from 9 A.M until 12:30 P.M. The conference will include discussions by four speakers from Cornell, the Ecological Research Institute, and Cleveland Metroparks regarding invasive species and diseases that currently threaten the health of our forests and woodlands. The conference will also provide credits. A second conference will be held on March 13, 2023 covering adaptive management strategies for invasive species and climate change.

Annual SWCD Work Plan

The district’s soil and water conservation and management objectives are generally focused on the natural environment within suburban and urban settings. As described in the district's 2021 Work Plan and 2022 Work Plan, these objectives are tailored to the unique ecological diversity of Westchester County, where the Hudson River, Long Island Sound and Croton River and their tributaries define much of the county’s character as well as its boundaries. The district considers a wide range of concerns, such as:

  • restoring streams, floodplains, freshwater and tidal wetlands, and other natural resources to improve water quality and fish and wildlife habitat
  • retrofitting and installing stormwater management practices to improve water quality and control excessive stormwater runoff
  • protecting and managing streams, wetlands, ponds, lakes, reservoirs and floodplains
  • controlling erosion and sedimentation, and polluted stormwater runoff by advocating the use of best management practices through public education and outreach
  • encouraging and facilitating the development and implementation of soil and water resource conservation practices and strategies based on watershed-wide perspectives and analyses
  • promoting sound soil and water resource conservation techniques and natural resource stewardship through public outreach and education

The district’s Work Plan focuses on:

  • carrying out stormwater management and natural resources restoration projects and studies
  • seeking non-county funding for additional projects
  • partnering with other entities to achieve mutual soil and water conservation objectives
  • developing and sponsoring public education and professional development opportunities

The District continues its partnership with regional, state and federal agencies and organizations, as well as municipalities, to further mutual soil and water conservation and management goals and objectives. District and Westchester County Planning Department staff also continue to provide technical services and provide information to the public, including the preparation of soil group worksheets for agricultural tax re-assessments.

Work Completed, Grassland Restoration Project at Croton Point Park

The County of Westchester completed restoration of the largest grassland habitat in the Hudson River corridor. The grassland sits atop the former landfill at Croton Point Park. The project was paid for with state funding to the Soil and Water Conservation District. More than 85 acres of grassland has been restored under the three-year-long project. The grassland provides a critically important place for ground-nesting and migratory birds, including songbirds and raptors, to find shelter, build a home, feed and rest throughout the year. Restoration is expected to halt the grassland’s steady decline in habitat value and raise it to its full ecological capabilities by removing less desirable, invasive plants in favor of more ecologically friendly native plants. Please see the District’s 2021 Work Plan for more information.  “Grassland Design & Management Specifications, Croton Point Park, Croton-on-Hudson” (2015), laid the groundwork for the current restoration project.

Confronting Climate Change: What To Expect In Our Region Workshop 

Three hundred people attended the Soil and Water Conservation District’s workshop, “Confronting Climate Change: What To Expect In Our Region,” at the Westchester County Center in White Plains on December 12, 2018. It was the largest workshop ever sponsored by the District. Co-sponsors were Cornell Cooperative Extension of Westchester County, Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College, Watershed Agricultural Council and Westchester County Planning Department. Arthur DeGaetano, director of the Northeast Regional Climate Center, Cornell University; David Vallee, hydrologist-in-charge, Northeast River Forecast Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and Mark Wysocki, New York State Climatologist, Cornell University, were the speakers. The following are presentations from the workshop:

Change is in the Air: Global Climate Change from a New York Perspective

Climate Trends in Southeast New York and Their Impact on Flood Frequency

Impacts of Extreme Weather Events on Communities Across New York State

Aquatic Restoration Program:

Technical services:

  • Preparing Soil Group Worksheets - go to worksheet form.
  • Interpreting the USDA-NRCS Soil Survey of Putnam and Westchester Counties
  • Stormwater management and water quality protection, including the New York State Stormwater Management Design Manual and New York State Standards and Specifications for Erosion and Sediment Control
  • Natural resources and ecosystem protection and management
  • Environmental mapping, such as national wetlands inventory, tidal wetlands, coastal erosion hazard areas, flood zone, and historic aerial photographs
  • Analyses of soil content and characteristics may be made through Cornell University’s Soil Health webpage 

 Publications available online:

Model ordinances:

Guidance documents:

Related links:

For more information, please contact Nicole Laible, District Manager/Principal Environmental Planner, at (914) 995-4423 or