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Conservation Districts were established in Rhode Island by State Law in 1944, and are a subdivision of the Rhode Island State Conservation Committee. Conservation Districts are quasi-public organizations with a wide breadth of opportunity to focus efforts on the environmental and conservation concerns within our communities.  The State Committee and Districts are established and defined in RIGL 2-4.

The function of the Districts is to take available technical, financial, and educational resources, focus and coordinate them so that they meet the needs of the local land user for the conservation of soil, water and related resources. The Districts operate on the premise that local people know the most about local needs.

The Districts do not regulate or enforce laws. There are approximately 3,000 conservation districts nationwide. There are three Districts in Rhode Island.

  • Southern RI Conservation District (SRICD), serving Washington and Kent Counties,
  • Northern RI Conservation District (NRICD), serving Providence County, add hyperlink
  • Eastern RI Conservation District (ERICD), serving Newport and Bristol Counties add hyperlink

SRICD’s Primary Partners & Cooperators:                                     

  • Landowners
  • Municipalities of Kent and Washington Counties
  • Municipal and Private Land Trusts and Conservation Commissions
  • RI Department of Environmental Management, Department of Agriculture
  • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (USAD-NRCS RI)

Conservation Districts have a unique relationship with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Program parameters are established by Congress through the Farm Bill, and local landowners meet as Boards to identify and prioritize the needs for each state by the District, which is often a single county in other states. The SRICD Board of Directors represents the communities, directing the work prioritized and conducted in Kent and Washington Counties. The District Conservationist at NRCS, attends SRICD monthly meetings to work in conjunction with the Board to best serve people and protect natural resources in our communities.

SRICD works directly with USDA NRCS to accomplish and improve the process for NRCS Outreach and Education, Conservation Technical Assistance, Wetland Restoration, enhancing Fish and Wildlife Habitat, Grassland and Forestland Ecosystems, improving Soil Quality, Water Management, Water Quality, Energy Conservation, and Forest/Farmland Conservation.

Find out more about SRICD and USDA-NRCS RI here: