Friends of NACD District Grant Helps Maine Districts Promote Conservation on All Lands With New Certified Conservation Landscape Program

By Aleta McKeage, Waldo County SWCD Technical Director

In Maine, the Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and our partner, Knox-Lincoln SWCD, have created an innovative new program, the Certified Conservation Landscape Program, to promote the implementation of conservation best management practices on all lands. This free certification program helps all types of landowners— landowners with farms or woodlands, those in residential neighborhoods, as well as schools, land trusts and municipalities—implement the many practices that soil and water conservation districts promote across the United States.

Our Certified Conservation Landscape Program is unique in that it is comprehensive, covering the many practices that conservation districts recommend, such as:

  • Enhancing wildlife habitat in our region, including pollinator habitat
  • Assisting landowners in learning about and implementing soil and water conservation
  • Controlling invasive species
  • Encouraging the use of organic and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices
  • Training volunteers and district staff to review potential certification properties
  • Increasing awareness and connection to one’s own landscape
  • Improving the health and productivity of landscapes—and thereby increasing climate resiliency

Landowners self-certify their property by completing a checklist of conservation practices they’ve implemented, working their way up to a Master Conservationist recognition level. Conservation district staff review the checklist, visit the property, and provide the landowner with a certificate. Signs indicating the property is certified are available for purchase for $15. Each year, Certified Conservation Landscapes are recognized at the districts’ annual award banquets, and in their annual reports.

Our Certified Conservation Landscape Program offers conservation district staff with tools, skills, and methods for guiding landowners and assessing conservation practices. Other partners are now working with us to use and enhance the program, including several school districts, land trusts, and statewide organizations in Maine, including Maine Audubon, Maine Forest Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, which may fund additional position hours to help implement the program. Conservation districts across the State of Maine are now able to adopt the program, and NACD is helping to promote the program and its resources in the Northeast Region and nationwide.

Latest News

Calendar of Events

Find your Local District

Accessibility Toolbar