The mission of the East Multnomah SWCD is to conserve and restore the natural resources of the district for current and future generations by making conservation technical, financial, and educational assistance available and meaningful to all residents and ensuring equitable distribution of benefits and responsibilities.
The East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District (EMSWCD) is a unit of local government serving Multnomah County East of the Willamette River. We are led by an elected board of five directors and several associate directors. We work entirely on a voluntary, non-regulatory basis. All our work is geared toward keeping water clean, conserving water and keeping soil healthy. Our district is a very diverse place. We serve areas from downtown Portland and Gresham out to the National Forest and our work is designed to fit that diversity.
SWCDs came about during the Dust Bowl, when the federal government realized conservation needs varied greatly by region, and that local conservation districts could better help landowners with their specific challenges. Photo courtesy of USDA NRCS.
Our 17 member staff provides a wide variety of programs and services to urban and rural residents and businesses. Our free naturescaping workshops will show you how to landscape with native plants, minimize the need for watering, eliminate the need to apply toxics and provide gorgeous backyard habitat for birds and butterflies as well as you and your family! Our free rain garden workshops will show you how to put your roof water back into the ground, not into the storm sewer. Our invasive species efforts are keeping threats like garlic mustard and Japanese knotweed out of sensitive streamside habitats. Our annual native plant sale provides thousands of low cost plants for naturescaping and for restoration projects. We help rural landowners on an entirely voluntary basis meet their conservation goals for their land. We help livestock owners manage mud and manure to prevent pollution while improving conditions for the animal. We can help keep pastures healthy, provide off stream watering, handle barn roof water, and more! All of our services are provided free of charge.
We also help fund conservation projects with landowners and partners. We offer cost share on certain practices and have funded community projects like Hacienda and Rigler School Garden.