Anchorage Soil and Water Conservation District

A Member of the Alaska Association of Conservation Districts


The Anchorage Soil and Water Conservation District was re-started in November of 2021 to address several problems in the Anchorage area, including aggressive invasive plants such as European Bird Cherry which have been spreading into our native forests, the lack of green infrastructure in many parts of the city, and the lack of support for urban agriculture in Anchorage. Our mission is ‘Helping people care for our forests, land, and water’. We strive to find science-based solutions to natural resource related problems within our District, and to work collaboratively with landowners, agencies, and other organizations to identify funding and other resources to direct toward these problems.

About a decade ago, Anchorage had a Soil and Water Conservation District that ended up closing its doors and since then there hasn’t been an active District representing Anchorage, Eagle River, Chugiak, or Girdwood. Our neighboring partners such as Palmer, Wasilla, and Homer Soil and Water Conservation Districts have sometimes tried to fill in the gap by doing work within the Anchorage District boundaries, but there was still a large unmet need for natural resource conservation work which Soil and Water Conservation Districts are uniquely suited for. When we became officially recognized as an active District again, we found that many agencies and other natural resource groups were thrilled to have an Anchorage Soil and Water Conservation District active again to work with to address natural resource problems locally and even statewide, as Anchorage is the transportation and supply hub for Alaska.

Shortly after becoming officially restarted, Anchorage Soil and Water Conservation District hired its District Manager, and soon after that, we hired our Invasive Species Program Leader. As of June 2023, we have four employees on board, each with a unique skillset and years of natural resource related experience. Our current programs include the Invasive Species Program, an Urban Agriculture Program, a Native Plants Program, and Cooperative Work on JBER. We are in the beginning stages of developing a Forestry Program but have more work to do before this is launched.

In our first summer field season currently, we have a two-person team surveying invasive plants, coordinating weed pulls, and performing a limited amount of integrated pest management work for invasive species control. We have several dedicated volunteers who have been helping conduct surveys for invasive plants and organizing volunteer events. Our Native Plants Program Leader and District Manager have been planting seeds, building capillary beds for wetland plant propagation, collaborating with neighboring Tribal Conservation Districts, and preparing for our first season growing native plants for use in restoration projects. And, as always, the District Manager and Board Chairman have been working hard in the background completing all the necessary administrative and project management work.

We see a great future for our District and have come a long way since November 2021, due to the dedication and hard work of our staff and board members. There is always more work to be done! If you are interested in learning more or becoming involved as a volunteer, you can sign up as a cooperator (member) or reach out to us via email at