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  • William Bradford, Chair
  • Tom Raymond, Vice-Chair
  • James Droscha, Treasurer
  • David Brown, Secretary
  • Vacant, Member

Board members are elected at the District's Annual Meeting and serve 4 year terms.  If you would like more information about becoming a board member, please call our office at (517) 543-5848 X 5.

At the January 24th Annual Meeting we will have a board election.  If interested in serving on the board, Nominating Petitions are due to the office by Nov 26th, 2012. 

 District Staff:

(Meet the Staff)

Natural Resources Conservation Service Staff (NRCS)




What is a Conservation District?
Conservation Districts are "unique" local units of State Government that utilize state, federal and private sector resources to solve today's conservation problems. The guiding philosophy of all Conservation Districts is that decisions on conservation issues should be made at the local level, by local people, with technical assistance provided by government.

The locally elected five-member board of directors makes all decisions regarding the District’s programs and activities. The directors hire qualified staff to conduct and carry out the programs and activities that they have approved. These programs provide technical help, information, and awareness to assist people in the District to properly manage their natural resources. In Michigan, there are 80 Conservation Districts, which are generally organized along county boundaries.

What is the purpose of Conservation Districts?
Created to serve as stewards of natural resources, Michigan's Conservation Districts take an ecosystem approach to conservation and protection. Conservation Districts are referred to as “gateways” in their local communities. They provide linkages between land managers and a host of conservation service providers that include state, federal and local governments, conservation organizations, and Internet resources. Conservation Districts continually scan the needs of their local communities, work in partnership with others involved in conservation to set local priorities, and develop action plans to solve natural resource problems. The delivery of these efforts by Conservation Districts allows citizens to manage their private lands for a cleaner, healthier Michigan. It allows the public a point of access in their communities when questions arise on how to manage natural resources.

Are There Conservation District in States Other than Michigan?
Yes. More than 3,000 locally governed Conservation Districts are operating throughout the United States.

How Are Conservation Districts Funded?
District funding sources include state appropriations, county and other local governmental appropriations, federal and state grants, and other locally initiated and conducted fund raising activities. The Barry Conservation District’s primary funding source are the bi-annual tree sales, which provide the bulk of the operating income of the District. State appropriations, grants and county appropriations complete the operating budget, which allows the District to conduct programs focused on solving resource issues and educating land users on how to better care for our natural resources.

How Does a Land User Receive Assistance from Their District?
District assistance is a phone call, internet link or office visit away. The Eaton Conservation District is located in Charlotte, at 551 Courthouse Drive, Suite 3. Office hours are 8:00 – 4:30 weekdays. Phone number: 517-543-5848, Ext 5.



As a result of the nation wide concern over soil erosion growing out of the dust bowl in the 1920’s the District Enabling Act of 1937 was born.The Act allowed the creation of local Soil Conservation Districts within Michigan.  This created a system that allowed local citizens to address resource concerns by working closely with the local landowner.



Conservation Districts in Michigan were created under provisions of State Law, Public Act 297 of 1937, which was made part of the State of Michigan Compiled Environmental Code and is now MCL 324.9301-9313. Districts are independent units of government with elected Boards of Directors.

A petition was signed by 165 Eaton county land owners and submitted to the State Soil Conservation Committee March 12, 1946. A public hearing was held on April 3, 1946 where it was determined that the conservation district was needed for the public health, safety and welfare.  The District was originally named the Thornapple Grand Soil Conservation District.  It was named after two major rivers in Eaton County, and was formally established June 3, 1946.


The first board of directors included Marten Garn of Chester Township, Keith King of Walton Township, Lloyd Bacon of Roxand Township, Ed Miller of Delta Township and Herb VanAken of Eaton Rapids Township. This board served during 1946-47.


The first cooperator to sign an agreement with the district was Keith King in 1946.  Over the years the conservation districts have championed the installation of conservation practices on the land.  This includes assistance in such fields of study as Agronomy, Forestry, Animal Husbandry, Agriculture and Recreation.  Local Conservation Districts have provided many different types of equipment to landowners including muck plows, tree planters, terracing machines, no-till planters, and seed drills.


The District’s first office space was over Munger’s Hardware in Charlotte. The office moved to Bostwick and Seminary Streets in the early 1950’s, then to the VanSickle Building on N. Bostwick in 1965. In 1993 the office was moved to the Eaton County office Building in the County Governmental Complex.

In January 2008, the Board of Directors unanimously voted to change the name from the Thornapple Grand Conservation District to the Eaton Conservation District.

Eaton Conservation District

551 Courthouse Drive, Suite 3
Charlotte, MI  48813
(517) 543-5848 X 5
Fax (517) 543-5962














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