There are eight major strategies that we use to advance our Strategic Plan:

Environmental Planning

  • Soil Conservation and Water Quality Plans (SCWQP).

  • Upper Mississinewa River Watershed Management Plan

  • Upper White River Watershed Management Plan

  • Prairie Creek Reservoir Management Plan

  • MSD Dam Removal Feasibility Study

  • Land-use and Local Area Plans

  • Large scale conservation plans

  • NRCS Conservation Plans

Nitrate Sampling and field planning

Example: Upper Mississinewa River
Watershed Project

This report contains an analysis of community concerns gathered at the beginning of this project, a Watershed Inventory (which provides data and analysis from various sources regarding the Upper Mississinewa River Watershed’s physical features and land use) and a Water Quality Inventory (which provides historical water quality, biological, and habitat data as well as results and analysis from chemical and biological water quality monitoring that were conducted as part of this study).

Results from these inventories are used to identify subwatersheds within the Upper Mississinewa River Watershed that have the most impaired water quality (referred to from herein as “critical areas”). The final portion of the plan determines possible sources of pollution in these critical areas and recommends a plan of action to mitigate them.

Review the complete plan at hosted on the IDEM website.
Visit the Upper Mississinewa River Watershed Project at:

Example: Urban Land Use Planning

The Delaware County SWCD supports Local Area Planning efforts and has worked with Ball State University professors on a series of projects that explore the role of in-fill development as a means of agricultural and ecological land preservation.

The community design programs mirror the volume of housing, commercial, and public/service sector developments that have occurred since 2010, rooting proposals in a level of reality.

Volumes of the design program expressed in a Lyndenbrooke Town Center Concept.
Students present design ideas to the community.

Education and Outreach

The district will educate and conduct outreach for the public through the following events, activities, and educational aids:


  • Workshops and Field Days

    • EcoBlitz

    • River Cleanups

  • Augmented Reality Sandbox

  • Booths at Community Events


  • Cooperative Invasives Species Management Area (CISMA)

  • Women4theLand Learning Circles

  • Indiana Academy's Envirothon Group

  • "Pathway to Water Quality" at the Indiana State Fair

  • Volunteer judging at the National Future Farmers of America Conference


  • Delaware County 4-H Forest and Soil/Water Conservation awards

  • Printing of the Delaware County 4-H fairbook.

  • Indiana Woodland Steward quarterly magazine (for Delaware County forest landowners).


  • Agriculture

  • CAFOs/Livestock

  • Pond Workshops

  • Lakescaping Initiative

  • PCR Vegetative Management

  • Herbaceous Landscapes

  • Soils

  • Aquifers

  • Forestry

  • Ecosystem Services

  • Wetlands

  • Nutrients, Water Quality, Pest Management

  • Logjam Removals

  • Water Management: Diversion and Grade Control Structures

  • Fish Consumption

  • Geese/Invasive Control

  • Smart Growth

  • Low Impact Development

  • Agricultural Land Conservation

  • Urban CSOs

  • Urban Forestry

  • Gardens/Rain Gardens

  • Greenroofs

  • Rainbarrels

  • Septic Systems

  • Home Gardening

  • Lawn Management and Green Gardening

  • Stormwater Management/Stormwater Pollution

  • Earth Team

  • Minnetrista Nature Area Learning Lab


Information & Marketing

The district will provide and promote conservation information to the public through the following items:


  • Quarterly Newsletters

  • Website (

  • Brochures and other publications

  • Sharing National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) weekly “Conservation Clips” through email

  • Social Media

  • Press Releases and Newspaper

Public Relations

  • Customer Service (i.e. phone calls, emails, walk-in requests for information)

  • Supervisors and staff serving on various community boards and committees

  • Annual Meeting


Plat Book available for purchase at the SWCD office.

Environmental Science

  • White River Water Quality Monitoring – as part of the Muncie Dam Removal & Modification project

  • Mississinewa River Water Quality Monitoring – as part of the 319 Watershed Management Plan

  • Drinking Water Water Quality Monitoring – testing and education for Delaware County residents

  • Biological Surveys - as part of EcoBlitz

  • Fish and Macroinvertebrate Studies

Project Managers at FlatLand Resources completing Water Quality Monitoring.
Volunteers conduct surveys of the major waterways via canoe.

Example: Water Quality IN

Water Quality Indiana (WQI) blends science with journalism and provides impactful recruitment into STEM and media fields through experiential learning. Students collect a range of water-quality data from local waterways and conduct interviews with stakeholders. They then transform knowledge to judgment by producing defendable scientific results and generating multimedia products. Students transform judgment to action by disseminating their deliverables to a public audience of consultants, regulators, and landowners to help create a sustainable future.

Students created a series of videos to promote Citizen based water monitoring program.
Students survey large logjams on the Mississinewa River as part of a 2014 class.

Technical Assistance (Engineering)

The district will provide technical assistance in the following ways:

  • One-on-one conservation planning and application assistance

  • Agriculture conservation Best Management Practices (BMPs) designed to NRCS specifications

  • On-site consultations

  • Customer Service (e.g. soil survey information, topography maps)

  • Local working group conservation concerns priority ranking

  • Conservation project planning studies

Cost Share Assistance (Grant making)

Financial Incentives to Landowners/Operators

The district will connect landowners/operators in Delaware County to the following sources of conservation financial assistance:

  • Federal conservation programs (i.e. farm bill programs)

  • Federal conservation cost share/incentive programs (i.e. Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) 319 grants – funded by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA))

  • State conservation cost share/incentive programs (i.e. Lake and River Enhancement (LARE) and Clean Water Indiana (CWI))

  • Local, private grant cost share opportunities

Clean Water Indiana (CWI)

Clean Water Indiana's primary goal is to reduce nutrient loading in our streams and rivers. This is a problem not only for the Gulf Coast and the giant dead zone plaguing the area, but also for the health of our local ecosystem. Projects funded by CWI aim to decrease the nutrients flowing into surface waters and preserve our soil by keeping it out of the waterways.

On-Farm Network (OFN)

Over the past two years, the Delaware County SWCD has been working on a CWI grant in partnership with Madison, Randolph and Blackford Counties to implement nitrogen testing with the On Farm Network. There are currently 11 farmers signed up across these four counties who will benefit from this program. The purpose of the testing is to determine the nitrogen left in the stalks when the plant reaches maturity. This reading will enable farmers to see how much nitrogen is needed for proper plant growth. This method saves farmers money from over applying and also saves our streams from nutrient overload.

Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)

The other facet of this grant included the promotion of the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program. This State/Federal Cost-Share aims to add riparian buffers, filter strips, and hardwood trees in those agricultural zones along our waterways. The program will also pay for wetlands restoration, for native grass plantings, and for promoting wildlife habitat.

All of these practices will contribute to a healthier environment by decreasing nutrient loading, increasing biodiversity, and keeping soil on our fields and out of our water.

Administrate and Coordinate Projects

The district will seek financial support from the following sources:

  • State grants, including Clean Water Indiana (CWI) and Lake and River Enhancement (LARE)

  • Federal grants, including IDEM 319

  • Local, private grants

  • SWCD Annual Tree Sale

  • Program Support Specialist Agreement with Natural Resources Conservation Service

  • County government

Look for updated information about our Fall 2021 tree sale.
Typical container stock trees sold during the SWCD Tree Sale

Accountability/Impact Reporting

Tracking conservation progress and how funding is utilized:

  • Annual SWCD Financial Report to Indiana State Department of Agriculture

  • Annual SWCD Financial Report to Indiana State Board of Accounts

  • SWCD Program Report for Annual Meeting

  • Report on federal, state and other dollars

  • Cropland Transect Surveys of tillage practices used and cover crop usage

  • Conservation Project Tracking