Our History

Soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs) were written into state law in the 1930’s after the devastation of the Dust Bowl – a consequence of drought conditions and farming without conservation. These local units of government were formed across the nation to help citizens conserve soil, water, and other natural resources. They helped create a link between government resources and local landowners to increase the application of conservation on private land.

Polk County officially formed its own soil and water conservation district in 1945. The district is governed by a board of five elected commissioners and appointed assistant commissioners. These individuals make decisions on how federal and state conservation funds should be used across the county. Since it’s formation, the district has expanded their services by providing outreach to the urban community and establishing new partnerships to insure long-term problem solving through the use workshops, trainings, and cost share programs.

Over the past 20 years, Polk SWCD has also taken a lead on watershed based efforts in Central Iowa. By working with local partners and residents to address local issues, the district has taken a part in tackling issues such as bacteria and algae blooms in Big Creek Lake, flooding in Fourmile Creek, stormwater pollution in Easter Lake, and many others. Through grant funding and local partnerships, the district has grown to include a staff of watershed coordinators to better serve Central Iowa.


The Team

Polk County staff is composed of a partnership between state, district, and federal employees working together to address local soil and water issues.  All working out of the Ankeny Field Office, staff serve various roles focused on meeting local needs.

Watershed Cordinator

Amanda Brown

Watershed Cordinator

John Swanson

Conservation Assistant

Anne Bultman

Watershed Coordinator

Jennifer Welch

Watershed Cordinator

Julie Perreault

Could Be You!


The Polk Soil & Water Conservation District is led by a board of five elected commissioners who serve four-year terms. Along with the elected commissioners, appointed assistant commissioners support district efforts.

Assistant Commissioner

Robin Boggs

Assistant Commissioner

Lisa Walters

Assistant Commissioner

Josh Duden


Chip Mathis


Cindy Valin


Katie Rock


John Hall

Assistant Commissioner

Elaine Ilvess


Jane Clark

Assistant Commissioner

Truman Boot

Assistant Commissioner

Zach DeYoung

Become a Commissioner



Our document's section is comprised of Monthly Meeting Notes & Annual Reports, which can be downloaded at your convenience. Never worry about missing a meeting, our team will upload meeting agendas and notes.

Monthly Updates

Meeting Notes

The Polk SWCD Board of Commissioners meet the third Tuesday of every month.

Yearly Updates

Annual Reports

Each year the Polk SWCD creates an annual report highlighting the past years accomplishments.

As urban areas grow by as little as 1%, you begin to see negative biological impacts to surface waters.