Marion County is the largest producer of agricultural goods in the state. With a high volume of production occurring it is important for farmers to be aware and have access to resources that can help answer questions and support natural resource conservation. It is up to the private landowner to take advantage of these resources and the conservation programs that are available to them to help protect the natural resources on their land and adjacent lands.


Raising livestock is a means of diversifying an operation because it complements many other practices. But raising animals comes with varying characteristics that should be considered prior to getting started. The Marion SWCD’s Manure Exchange Service (MES) is beneficial for both the livestock owner and the gardener/ landscaper. It helps the District and its community to reach an important goal: Improve its Agricultural Water Quality by removing a potential source of water pollution from its local farms and ranches. This service is provided for the residents of Marion County only.


A handful of soil is filled with millions of life forms working together to create nutrients, aerate the soil, and turn nitrogen from the air into a form that roots can absorb. The kind of soil needed for food production is being lost rapidly across the country and the world. Urban development and land use changes are removing productive agricultural land from the local soil base. Soil is the very reason conservation districts were created in the first place. Contact Marion SWCD for technical assistance related to soil conservation and soil health.

Urban Conservation

With more people living in urban areas it becomes vitally important to implement conservation practices that help protect our waterways, riparian areas, aquatic habitat, wildlife, and public health to minimize our impacts on the natural environment. Many of these practices work to reinstate and mimic the natural systems that were functioning prior to the land being developed. The Marion SWCD can assist urban landowners in identifying conservation opportunities and ideas on mitigating environmental concerns.

Rural Living Handbook

The Marion SWCD recognizes a need to provide both new and current residents with up-to-date information related to living, engaging, and understanding rural Marion County. The Rural Living Handbook aggregates important basic information into one document that is easy to understand and identifies resources for property owners who would like additional information.


Water is considered to be one of the most abundant resources on Earth, yet only one percent of it is actually drinkable. It is therefore vitally important to protect and conserve this resource.
The local, state, and federal governments have, with some success, put in place regulations, policies, and strategic plans that work to protect these waters. The success of these efforts rely heavily on property owners being proactive in protecting the waters that pass through their property.

Invasive Plants

An invasive weed is usually a non-native plant that spreads rapidly, is difficult to remove, and causes environmental or economic damage by taking over an area. Invasive plant species are having significant negative impacts on landowners throughout Marion County and beyond.

These plants are impacting water quality in important watersheds, disturbing ecosystems by displacing native desirable plants and wildlife and negatively affecting timber production and the agricultural industry. Invasive plant species are impacting water quality in important watersheds, disturbing ecosystems by displacing native and other desirable plants and negatively affecting timber production, the agricultural industry and the economy.

Native Plants

Using native plants in your landscape supports and enhances local environments and habitat for wildlife, birds, and pollinators. Native plants are a great benefit to any landscape; native plants require minimal or no water once they are established, do not require additional fertilizers or pesticides, increase the biodiversity of an area, and can be planted in place of a lawn, so mowing is not necessary.

Native plants are great for streamside planting, providing food and shelter for wildlife and pollinators, and they are usually easy to grow. Native plants are adapted to the local climate and soils, and can tolerate cool, wet winters and warm dry summers. They do not require added fertilizers, and once established after a year or two of summer watering, they rarely need supplemental water.

For More Information, please call 503-391-9927 or email [email protected]