What is a "watershed"?

A defined area of land where every drop of water drains into a common place such as a river, lake, or wetland. Watersheds impact our drinking water, recreational opportunities, and essential habitat for wildlife. Polk SWCD has spent decades partnering with farmers, landowners, and urban residents to address local watershed issues to improve water quality and soil health. Everyone lives in a watershed and can play a role in protecting them!

How We Help

The Polk Soil and Water Conservation District provides leadership to help people improve, conserve, and sustain our natural resources.


Our Polk County farmers and landowners in the rural areas play a key role in preserving our natural resources. Whether you own a small residential acreage or make a living farming there are plenty of ways that you can help!


As an urban resident you make up the largest portion of Polk County and play a vital role in stormwater management. You can have a big impact on our environment even if you live in a downtown apartment or own a small residential lot.

Local Leaders

Local leaders make important decisions on how to conserve our natural resources in all areas of the county. These decision makers can include city staff, elected officials, agency partners, and developers as well as many others.

Showcase Stories

Below are some of our latest stories and projects.

Upcoming Events

Below are our upcoming events.

Packed full of phosphorous and other nutrients, grass clippings are one of the most harmful urban pollutant sources to our waterways.