North Carolina has the distinction of being the home to the nation's first conservation district. Brown Creek Soil and Water Conservation district was established in nearby Anson County in 1937. The soil and water conservation movement in North Carolina celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 1994.
Prior to 1963, Cabarrus County was part of a multi-county conservation district. In North Carolina, soil and water conservation districts are political subdivisions of state government. A five-member board of supervisors oversees set priorities for the local district. Three of these supervisors are elected in general elections and two are appointed by the state Soil and Water Conservation Commission.
Recognition of outstanding efforts is an important way that the district seeks to encourage conservation. In 1999, the National Teacher of the Year award for conservation education went to Dianne Hudson, a teacher at Mount Pleasant Elementary School. Also in 1999, the North Carolina Conservation Farm Family award went to the Thomas E. Porter family of Mount Pleasant.
In both cases, these outstanding accomplishments were the culmination of a conservation planning process that extended over a number of years. Databases of information on natural resources provide valuable information during the conservation planning process. These databases include the Cabarrus County soil survey and a countywide inventory of significant natural heritage areas.