Our Mission

The Spartanburg SWCD's mission is to promote the wise and responsible use of our natural resources through education, demonstration, and technical services for the benefit of all citizens of Spartanburg County.


Did you know... that Spartanburg County is the birthplace of soil conservation in the state of South



In 1933, under the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Soil Erosion Service was established. With a five

million dollar budget, the Soil Erosion Service set up demonstration sites in strategic locations

throughout the United States. One of these sites covered the South Tyger River Watershed, located in

Greenville and Spartanburg counties. The first project within this demonstration area began on

December 18, 1933 at the J.L. Berry farm, located near Poplar Springs in Spartanburg County.


Due to uncontrolled water from field terraces, soil had eroded away from an area on the Berry farm that

created an 800-foot-long and 35-foot-deep gully in only eight years. Acres of productive cropland were

destroyed and bottomland stream channels were choked from sedimentation.


Equipped only with hand tools (shovels and axes) and limited technical knowledge, 75 relief workers

brought the problem under control by diverting the water away from the gully, sloping and planting the

banks of the gully with grass, trees and shrubs, and building log dams across the main channel. The

project was a success and the methods used at the Berry Gully project were used throughout the

Piedmont and influenced gully control work all over the United States.


In 1935, Public Law 46 was passed by the U.S. Congress. This law established soil and water conservation and wise land use as a national policy.  It also created the Natural Resources Conservation Service, a federal agency housed within the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


In 1937, President Franklin Roosevelt wrote all Governors, recommending that each state adopt legislation forming conservation districts, and a state agency to provide coordination and guidance to these districts. This state agency would also provide professional, technical, and financial assistance to the districts. Governor Olin D. Johnston signed the S.C. Conservation Districts Law on April 17, 1937.


These legal agreements establish the working partnership between the United States Secretary of Agriculture, the State of South Carolina, the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, and each conservation district in South Carolina.


©2016 Spartanburg SWCD.

Information within this site is subject to change.

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Ronnie Bullard, Chairman

Nigel Cox, Vice-Chairman

Jack Turner, Sec./Treas.

Bill Bledsoe

Gary Sayre

District Staff:

Bonnie Wines, District Coordinator

Henry Gramling, Equipment Mgr

NRCS Staff:

Matt Barrington,

District Conservationist

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