St. Johns
Soil and Water Conservation District

Water Conservation


Ground water monitor

Soil Conservation

Planting dunes

About St. Johns SWCD

Our Purpose

The mission of the St. Johns Soil and Water Conservation District is to provide the administration of programs to conserve soil and improve water quality and quantity on private lands in the county.


St. Johns Soil & Water Conservation District

Contact: Gina Allen

111 Yelvington Road, Suite 4
East Palatka, FL 32131

Board Members

Craig Hartwig, Chairperson

Craig has been a board member since 2002. Craig is president of RLH Enterprises inc. which does business as Hartwig and Associates; North Florida Landscape and Trees and More. He has been involved with the landscape, nursery and agricultural industries since 1977. email:


Dave Rogers, Vice Chairperson


Erica Connor, Supervisor

Erica is a licensed attorney, former small business owner, and community organizer who is passionate about the American political process and public service. She possesses over thirteen years of varied experience within the legal and political sectors. She is presently a consultant dedicated to making candidate participation in election more accessible Erica also currently serves as a county Precinct Committeewoman.  An avid environmentalist, she is a member of the Sierra Club and St. Johns Riverkeeper. She holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan, a J.D. from the University of Florida Levin College of Law, cum laude, and is a retired member of the Illinois Bar. She lives in Ponte Vedra Beach with her husband and two young children.  email:


John “Bucky” Sykes, Supervisor

Bucky Originally was a board member from 1985 until 2005 and currently has been reappointed to the board. Bucky brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the board. Bucky is a fourth-generation farmer who, in the past, grew potatoes and cabbage on his farm. Bucky now grows specialty crops and currently owns and operates a corn maze. Sykes Family Farms.


Chaddon Levini, Supervisor

Board Member info here.

What We Do


Established by the Florida Legislature, the St. Johns Soil & Water Conservation District, a governmental subdivision of the State of Florida, was established October 9, 1950 under Florida Statutes 582 by local residents for the purpose of promoting and encouraging the wise use, management and general conservation of the County’s soil, water and related natural resources. The District is committed to preserving and enhancing the quality of life in the county through conservation of its natural resources.

The St. Johns Soil & Water Conservation District works closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) creating ways to conserve water, prevent soil erosion, convert irrigation systems and inform the public about conservation problems.

A Code of Ethics has been adopted by the district.  For Code of Ethics Information. View Code of Ethics Here.

The St. Johns SWCD operates under Florida Statutes 582 under the Florida Legislature.

Service Area

The St. Johns Soil and Water Conservation District serves all of county in the area of the conservation and stewardship of our natural resources.

Services Provided

  • Assist land owners in their efforts to secure financial assistance through Farm Bill Programs to implement conservation practices

  • Conservation education, programs and information

  • Assist growers with development of low volume irrigation systems

  • Develop and update irrigation water management plans

  • Soil surveys and historical maps

  • Local government advice and assistance

  • Youth education

  • Invasive plant control



Educational Programs

The St. Johns Soil and Water Conservation District sponsors a number of programs that serve the county communities. Through community support and fundraising efforts, the district is working to build the number of services we are able to offer.

The annual Envirothon, Poster & Speech Contest and Land Judging are some of the educational programs with which we are currently involved.

If you are interested in volunteering for any of these programs, in having a district supervisor work with you on a project or in offering your support for our work, please contact:


The Regional Envirothon is a problem-solving, natural resource education program for high school students. It is a unique outdoor competition that requires teamwork and the application of knowledge in the five areas listed below:

  • Aquatics – water ecology, water chemistry, water quality, and aquatic life.
  • Current Environmental Issues – annually selected topics such as energy sources, ground water, Gulf of Mexico environmental concerns or other current issues.
  • Forestry – tree identification, tree ecology, insects, and timber.
  • Soils – classification, formation, soil properties, profiles, and site suitability.
  • Wildlife – habitat, identification, food, disease, and management.

Each team consists of five students. Schools can enter more than one team, but no more than six teams. The five-member teams are led by an advisor in studying prepared resource materials in the five areas including a selected current environmental issues.

Schools can enter more than one team, but no more than six teams. During the competition, the students will rotate to the five testing stations. The Regional Envirothon brings together soil scientists, wildlife experts, foresters, park and recreational leaders, and other environmental specialists to challenge students to learn about our natural resources.

Poster Contest

The annual National Conservation Poster Contest provides kindergarten through twelfth grade students an opportunity to convey their thoughts about soil, water and related natural resource issues through art. It also highlights the educational outreach efforts of conservation districts and their state conservation associations, auxiliaries and agencies. The poster contest theme follows the annual Stewardship theme. The contest is co-sponsored by the National Association of Conservation Districts and the NACD Auxiliary.

Each year, the poster contest starts at the district level. Individuals and teachers with questions regarding district contests should contact their local district. To locate your local district search our state directory. District winners advance to the state level. For questions regarding state competitions, districts should contact their state association. Finally, state winners advance to the National Contest. National winners are recognized each year at the NACD Annual Meeting.

**PLEASE NOTE: Check your state poster contest sponsoring group to determine deadline and theme topic and correct poster size. Each state coordinates their own contest. Posters must follow your state’s guidelines to be eligible for the national contest.


Speech Contest

St. Johns County Soil and Water Conservation District sponsors an annual speech contest, which is designed to develop leadership and stimulate interest in conserving natural resources.

Check back for more details coming soon.


Land Judging

Land Judging is an exciting 4-H and FFA contest in which Middle and High School students in observe and interpret the soil in order to make wise land use decisions.

The skills the teens use at the contest involve principles that can be valuable in career fields like environmental and agricultural management, natural resources conservation, home building, engineering, and construction. Students can compete at the local, state, and national levels.

The Bradford Soil & Water Conservation Districts host local middle and high school students in FFA and 4-H to test their knowledge by judging soils from four pits that are selected by a Soil Scientist with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

In each class (Middle 4-H, High 4-H, Middle FFA, High FFA) the local county winner may compete at the state contest in that respective class.

Top placing teams in the state contest are eligible to compete at the National Land Judging Contest held at the end of April.


Budget Information


The District’s fiscal year runs from October 1st through September 30th annually.

To view the District’s annual financial report visit the Department of Financial Services:

This includes the final, complete audit report for the most recent completed fiscal year ending September 30.

Get in Touch!

St. Johns Soil & Water Conservation District

Contact: Gina Allen

111 Yelvington Road, Suite 4
East Palatka, FL 32131


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