The Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts (MASCD) serves as the voice for Maryland's 24 soil and water conservation districts on state legislative issues. It also provides a forum for training, policy-making and the exchange of information at their annual and quarterly gatherings.
MASCD Mission is to: promote practical and effective soil, water, and related natural resources programs to all citizens through individual conservation districts on a voluntary basis through leadership, education, cooperation and local direction.
The 100th Maryland farm certified for achieving the highest level of
environmental stewardship was recognized May 6, 2015 at a ceremony
outside Smithsburg, Md.
Gardenhour Orchards, operated by Bill Gardenhour and his family, received the Farm Stewardship Certification and Assessment Program (FSCAP) certificate and sign from the Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts, which established FSCAP in cooperation with core agricultural and environmental partners, to recognize farmers who are good stewards of their natural resources and to encourage farmers to put additional best management practices (BMPs) on their land. The Gardenhours are the fourth generation to operate the orchard, which encompasses 105 acres within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. In their market and pick-your-own orchards and fields, they offer apples, peaches, corn, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries.