Farm News

The Clark Conservation District Needs Your Support

photo of row of hedges along a driveway

For over a decade, the Clark Conservation District (CCD) has been an advocate, ally and resourceful network for April Joy Farm. In partnership with CCD, we have installed hundreds of native plants, shrubs and trees to improve our watershed, buffer our crops from spray drift, and provide forage and shelter for pollinators and wildlife.

This year we are working on two innovative projects with the CCD. Our static aerated composting structure will transform our livestock manure and plant residues into certified organic compost. This will eliminate the risk of importing contaminated substances from purchased off-farm inputs. A second project has enabled us to partner with WSU scientists to create a roadmap for improving the health of our soil. Healthier soil means healthier produce and a more resilient farm. Without the support of the CCD, we would not be able to undertake such improvements so vital to keeping our land clean and safe. Increasing development pressures make the support we receive from CCD even more crucial. More neighbors mean more chemical drift, potential water/runoff pollution and greater disease and pest pressure.

One hundred percent of the food produced on our farm is sold in Clark County. Every restaurant customer, every chef, every family, every neighbor connected to our farm benefits from our partnership with the CCD. What we value so highly about the Clark Conservation District is that unlike many government agencies, the ethic of the CCD continues to be: “What do you need? How can we help?”

The CCD’s services are not a hand-out. Every tree, hedgerow and plant I purchased from the CCD has been planted and cared for by my family. Such voluntary and incentive-based conservation services are not only essential, but also the most fundamentally successful types of government assistance. With the CCD as their partner, any Clark County resident who desires to protect or enhance their environment can become an effective and successful land steward. CCD empowers citizens in their backyards, at school and at work to tackle projects that ultimately benefit our greater community and the future citizens of our beautiful and precious home.

Last winter I contacted my county councilor and invited her to visit the farm and talk with me further about her opposition to the CCD’s funding request. I received a form letter response, declining to engage in any conversation. Clean soil, water, air, and the local food and healthy communities which result from careful stewardship are important to all Clark County residents. We cannot afford to lose the Clark Conservation District, whose sole mission is to protect, conserve, and improve the natural resources of our county.

Here are three ways you can help in 5 minutes or less:

  1. Sign the CCD’s petition
  2. Write your county councilor
  3. Join the CCD’s email listing to be notified of upcoming public hearings

If you disagree with funding the CCD or have specific questions about how the conservation district works directly with landowners, I urge you to connect with me. I would genuinely appreciate the chance to hear your perspective. —AJ