Conservationist Of The Year
Congratultions to Howard Heatherwick for being selected as this year’s recipient for McLean County’s “Conservationist Of The Year”
The McLean County Soil and Water Conservation District
The McLean County Soil and Water Conservation District proudly preserves McLean County’s most valuable resources. Our desire to protect soil and water, and serve area producers is 73 years strong. The experienced staff and strong dedication to conservation gives landowners professional options and solutions to protect their investment. The past and present District Board of Directors has given this county the strong leadership and correct direction to maintain the rich agricultural integrity of McLean County.
McLean County is the largest and one of the richer agricultural counties in the state of Illinois. It owes this distinction to the heritage of a fertile soil- a soil developed over centuries from the accumulation and deterioration of plant and animal life.
Tall dense growth of bluestem and other grasses carpeted the prairie. Lakes and swamps dotted the landscape. Heavy growths of trees and underbrush covered many of the slopes, fish, birds, and wild animals abounded.
But alas, man came and appropriated these resources to his own benefit. He cut the forest, he killed the wildlife-he plowed the prairies- he exploited the fertility of the soil. He destroyed organic matter-he muddied the waters. Erosion by wind and water followed his erring course.
In order to focus attention on these devastating processes and to halt these ruthless in roads on this sacred heritage and to restore the some degree the vital assets of plant food elements, the Mclean County Soil Conservation District was organized in the spring of 1942. The nine southeast townships in the county, being those in the upper Sangamon river valley, comprised the original district. It was enlarged to include the entire county in the spring of 1944 and water was later added to the name. It is composed of and controlled by landowners who have elected their own Board of Directors working in conjunction with local and state agencies. Through the facilities made possible by the organization, technical assistance with problems of building and maintaining soil fertility and controlling erosion is now available to all landowners and operators in the county.