In the early 1930s, along with the Great Depression came an equally unparalleled ecological disaster, the Dust Bowl. After a severe and sustained drought on the Great Plains, the region’s soil eroded and blew away, creating enormous black dust storms. They blotted out the sun and swallowed the countryside.
According to the Colorado State University archives, “In 1937, the state passed the Colorado Soil Conservation Act, which provided for locally controlled soil conservation districts to maintain and improve the state’s soil and water resources. The first districts began to form that year.”
Established June 14, 1948, West Greeley is among 72 conservation districts within Colorado, and one of 3,000 across the nation.
Farmers, ranchers and other local citizens interested in conservation govern the current WGCD. The board is composed of five locally elected officials who serve four year terms. The Weld County CSU Extension Director and the local NRCS District Conservationist serve as ex officio board members.
WGCD’s purpose is to make technical, financial and educational resources available, whatever the source. The District’s focus is on coordinating resources to meet local land managers’ water and soil conservation needs.
The District works with landowners to help protect soil and water quality, improve habitat, and conserve resources while sustaining agriculture. The staff helps cooperating landowners manage, protect and improve land and water resources. The District’s resources are available to the rangelands, wildlife, local and farm sectors.
The WGCD strives to be a leader in natural resources education and outreach.
Our vision is a vibrant and strong community of informed citizens who have the knowledge and guidance to be good stewards of the land and natural resources.
WGCD works to meet the growing and changing needs of its members. The District partners with other groups and agencies to provide technical assistance, sponsorship and outreach to all areas in agriculture development. The staff members challenge themselves to find new and different ways to reach the all constituents and fulfill their needs. And, WGCD offers various scholarship opportunities for students eager to further their education in ag-related fields.
Two years ago, we acquired Houston Gardens. Managing the gardens is another way, through various cost shares and technical services, to reach out to members and to help improve and manage land.
Back to the original question. Why do city dwellers, as well as farmers and landowners, receive the newsletter?
In May 1996, voters in the District approved a .414 mil levy. A portion of annual property taxes funds WGCD. Because of urban development, where subdivisions now stand were once farms. Many developers petitioned out of the WGCD. Those who didn’t still pay the mil levy, and residents in those areas are included on the District’s mailing list.
Your input is essential. Go to our website, www.wgcd.org. Provide your email address to electronically receive the newsletter, plus announcements about workshops, events and outreach.
Stop by and visit, we are located at 4302 West 9th Street Road Greeley, CO 80634
Give us a call! 970-356-8097 Ext 3