About the Hamilton County
Soil and Water
Conservation District

Home >> About the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District

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> Mission / History
> Achievements / Awards
> Our Staff
> Our Board
> Board Minutes
> Publications
> Water Quality Coordinating Committee

Quick Links

> Mission / History
> Board Minutes
> Achievements / Awards
> Publications
> Our Staff
> Water Quality Coordinating Committee
> Our Board

Mission
and History

The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District has been working to manage and promote the wise use of natural resources in Hamilton County since 1965.

District Office Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District
The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District staff members work to reduce soil erosion, protect water quality and quantity, manage invasive species, and offer diversified programs and educational events to the public. In order to protect the integrity of Hamilton County’s natural resources, the District provides technical assistance to land owners, municipalities, and organizations that meet conservation needs.
Programs at Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District

History

In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt combated the Dust Bowl by passing legislation that supported the establishment of Soil and Water Conservation Districts by local governments to conserve soil and water. The Soil and Water Conservation District Law was adopted by the State of New York in 1940.

The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District was established on February 4, 1965. Hamilton County is the third largest in New York State, and the least populated. Sixty three percent of the land is state owned Forest Preserve and remains unaltered by development. 89% of the county is forested, 5% is water and 6% is open area and hamlets.

Soil and Water Conservation Districts are a sub-division of New York State and receive funding from a variety of sources. Funding sources for the Hamilton County SWCD include New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, the Finger Lakes – Lake Ontario Watershed Protection Alliance, local county appropriation, grant awards and earned income programs. Thank you to these organizations for their support.

Soil and Water Conservation Districts are located in each county or borough in New York State and are governed locally by a Board of Directors. Directors are representatives from various local groups, two Town Supervisors that are appointed from the County Board of Supervisors, one representative from the Farm Bureau, one representative from The Grange and one member at large.
Lake in Hamilton County New York
The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Directors meets the first Tuesday of every month at 9:30 AM at the District office in Lake Pleasant. The public is welcome to attend.

All programs of the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District and Natural Resources Conservation Service are offered on a nondiscriminatory basis without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political belief, sexual orientation, or marital or family status.

Achievements and Awards

Some moments of distinction for the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation Division and their team.

2022

Community Resiliency Training Program Grant

The District received $5,000 to host Rural Roads Active Management Program trainings for state-wide District staff and municipalities.

2021

Water Quality Improvement Project Program Grant

The District was awarded a $65,000 grant for the Upper – Hudson River Roadside Erosion Remediation Program, Phase II.

Agricultural Environmental Management

The District received $3,608 to implement AEM, a voluntary, incentive-based program that helps farmers and producers make cost-effective and science-based decisions to help achieve business objectives. Being part of the Hamilton County AEM Program qualifies producers to receive assistance in developing a plan that is best for your operation and our freshwater resources. AEM is voluntary and confidential.

2021, 2020, 2019 and 2018

New York Association of Conservation District’s Media Awards

  • Best Education Outreach Story – 2021, 2018
  • Best Agricultural Environmental Management Story – 2020
  • Best Core Mission Story – 2019

2020

New York State Department of State Consolidated Funding Grant

$21,000 to assist with the development of the Upper Hudson River Watershed Revitalization Plan.

2020 and 2018

New York State Conservation District Employees’ Association Division V Merit Awards

  • Marj Remias – 2020
  • Lenny Croote, 2018

2018

New York Association of Conservation District’s Robert VanLare Award

Presented to District Manager Caitlin Stewart for recognition of her dedication and commitment to education.

2017

National Association of Conservation Districts’ Photography Contest

The District was awarded first place for Conservation in Action category

Invasive Species Rapid Response and Control Grant

The District was awarded $45,000 for invasive plant management.

Our
Staff Members

Caitlin Stewart
District Manager

After receiving a BS in Environmental Science and Geography from SUNY Oneonta and a MS in Geoscience from UMass Amherst, Caitlin began her career as a Conservation Educator at the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District in 2008. In 2019, she transitioned to District Manager. Caitlin, her husband, and dog Artemis love living, working, and playing in Hamilton County. She stokes her life with outdoor adventures in the Adirondack wild and beyond, and enjoys biking, skiing, hiking, and yoga.

Caitlin Stewart Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District

Our
Staff Members

Person

Caitlin Stewart
District Manager

After receiving a BS in Environmental Science and Geography from SUNY Oneonta and a MS in Geoscience from UMass Amherst, Caitlin began her career as a Conservation Educator at the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District in 2008. In 2019, she transitioned to District Manager. Caitlin, her husband, and dog Artemis love living, working, and playing in Hamilton County. She stokes her life with outdoor adventures in the Adirondack wild and beyond, and enjoys biking, skiing, hiking, and yoga.

Lenny Croote Technician Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District

Lenny Croote
Technician

Lenny began his career with Conservation Districts in 2002. He oversees Hamilton County SWCD’s sediment and erosion control program, Adirondack tree and shrub sale, and septic system program. When not in the office working on permits or GIS, he is found in the field assisting municipalities with flooding issues or landowners with invasive plants. Certifications include Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control, North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative , Onsite Wastewater Treatment Training Network, and Certified Pesticide Applicator category 3A.

Marj Remias
Clerk and Secretary to the Board

Marj joined the HCSWC District in 2017 as Secretary/Treasurer. As an early retiree and native of the Adirondacks, she has found a new home here at the District. Marj is often selling grass seed, straw, receiving water samples or directing inquiries to staff when not doing office work. As a nature enthusiast, she is very happy to be working in a conservation capacity.

Marj Remias Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District

Our
Board Members

Victoria Buyce

Victoria Buyce

Chairperson

John M. Stortecky

John M. Stortecky

Vice Chairperson

Shawn Hansen

Shawn Hansen

Member at Large

Betsy Bain

Betsy Bain

Town Supervisor

Nick Mauro

Nick Mauro

Town Supervisor

Water Quality Coordinating Committee

The mission of the Hamilton County Water Quality Coordinating Committee is to maintain and restore the quality and quantity of water resources in Hamilton County using a coordinated, comprehensive, and educational interagency approach.

As determined by WQCC members, protecting Hamilton County’s waters is of the utmost importance. Water quality concerns include invasive species, road salt, faulty septic systems, sedimentation, shoreline development, harmful algal blooms, and public education. Funding is continuously sought to remediate these concerns with appropriate best management practices.

Please review our Water Quality Strategy Report in the publications section, above.

Water Quality Committee Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District