ParkingLot 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.

Pond and Lake Management Worskhop

The Westchester County Soil and Water Conservation District and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Westchester County receive dozens of calls every year from residents concerned about the condition of ponds and lakes. Worsening conditions resulting from algal blooms, invasive plants, sedimentation, stormwater pollution and warming temperatures have prompted action by the public and private sectors and not-for-profit groups.

The District and Cornell Cooperative Extension, in partnership with the Westchester County Planning Department and Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College, are sponsoring a full-day workshop featuring four experts who will discuss various aspects of pond and lake management. The workshop will be Dec. 7, 2017 at the Westchester County Center in White Plains. The fee to attend is $45, which includes continental breakfast, box lunch, handouts and attendance certificate, Because space is limited, please register early. Download the flier and registration form.

Soil and Water Conservation Achievement Awards 2016

The District presented its third annual Soil and Water Conservation Achievement Awards, which recognize activities and projects that promote the conservation, management and restoration of soil and water resources in Westchester County, on Dec. 8, 2016. The awards ceremony was held in Westchester County’s Michaelian Office Building in White Plains. County Executive Robert P. Astorino presented the awards and a framed proclamation to each of the awardees (press release).

A five-member panel, representing the District’s Board of Directors, reviewed the nominees and selected three winners for the achievement award.

Recipients of the 2016 Soil and Water Conservation Achievement Award are:

  • The Great Healthy Yard Project of Katonah for Environmental Education
  • Pound Ridge Garden Club for Rain Garden at Moat Family Green
  • City of Yonkers for Saw Mill River Daylighting at Mill Street Courtyard

Annual Work Plan and Report

The district’s soil and water conservation and management objectives are generally focused on suburban and urban environments. As described in the district's annual Report, the objectives are also tailored to the unique ecological diversity of Westchester County, where the Hudson River, Long Island Sound and Croton River watersheds define its borders and character. 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 2017 Work Plan focuses on:

  • implementing natural resources restoration and storm water management projects
  • seeking non-county funding for additional projects
  • installing educational signs at completed project sites
  • continuing a conservation achievement awards program
  • sponsoring public education and professional development opportunitie

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 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. 

District Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Deputy County Executive Kevin Plunkett

The Soil and Water Conservation District turned 50 in 2017. The district was established in 1967 by an act of the then Westchester County Board of Supervisors under the New York State Soil and Water Conservation District Law. Deputy County Executive Kevin Plunkett in July gave Jan Blaire, chair of the District’s Board of Directors, a proclamation signed by County Executive Robert Astorino thanking the district for its service to county residents.

Hudson Valley Regional Envirothon 2017

Recipients of Hudson Valley Regional Envirothon 2017The Soil and Water Conservation District continued its long-standing co-sponsorship of the Hudson Valley Regional Envirothon. As it has for more than the past decade, Westchester County had the most high schools and teams participating in the regional Envirothon than any other county in the lower Hudson River valley.

Children in garden Work program activities:

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 Robert Doscher, District Manager/Principal Environmental Planner, at (914) 995-4423 or .