This year the Inland Empire Resource Conservation District (IERCD) hosted the 71st Annual California Association of Resource Conservation District’s (CARCD) conference in Ontario, CA. The conference was a great success and provided us with the opportunity to showcase our conservation work. The conference attracted over 200 attendees from Resource Conservation Districts across the state, representatives from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, state representatives from the Department of Conservation, and conservation non-profits.
The theme of this year’s conference was “Urban and Rural: Tying the Partnership Together” and covered topics such as carbon farming as a method for reducing climate change, combating invasive species across rural and urban boundaries, and developing partnerships to accomplish larger conservation goals. The importance of these topics rings especially true in Southern California where urban and rural areas have become more and more entwined. With little division between agricultural and urban areas, it is necessary to work together to accomplish conservation goals on open space while bringing education and other opportunities to urban regions.
Highlighting the conference was a Farm to Fork dinner hosted by Huerta Del Valle Community Garden in Ontario, CA. Huerta Del Valle is a community garden operating in an underserved region that offers gardens plots for local families, a CSA program, and distributes food to local businesses. The garden managers, Maria Alonso and Arthur Levine, have worked with our district on several conservation themed projects, including our Student and Landowner Education and Watershed Stewardship Program (SLEWS). The dinner concluded a fantastic conference and reaffirmed the theme of urban and rural partnerships as a method for continuing conservation efforts in an increasingly urbanized region.
Thank you again to all our kind sponsors and supporters including Burrtec, CA Department of Conservation, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Sustainable Conservation, UCANR, and more!