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Community Spotlight


Calhoun County Soil and Water Conservation District

Calhoun County Soil and Water Conservation

Year Established:  1939

Coordinator:  Maria Helms

Number of employees from Calhoun County:  1 

Location:  Agriculture Building, 904 FR Huff Dr. St. Matthews, SC, 29135

Products and services: 

The Calhoun Soil and Water Conservation Service provides planning, education, and resources to preserve, manage, and ultimately protect the natural resources that make Calhoun County such a beautiful place. 

Why did you decide to join this organization? 

I love this county and a large reason for that is the clean water, wildlife, and beauty of the rivers and landscape. So, I was excited when the opportunity arose to work with others that feel the same way. I was hired by the Board of Commissioners in Dec. 2010.  I manage the administrative, financial, elections, any other business actions and educational outreach programs, sponsorships, workshops, presentations, out-reach through special events (ex. SC Fair, Sportsman’s Classic) and school/library programs.       

What accomplishments are you most proud of? 

I am most proud of the growth of our Affiliate membership (we had 75 in 2010 and presently have 326 members). I developed many programs such as the “Build a Bat House” for the Library Teen program.  High Schoolers are a difficult age group to reach, and through this program they were able to develop some hands on carpentry skills which could help them later on. They also came to realize bats are not scary make-believe vampires but an important part of our ecosystem.  I have written plays based on summer reading programs such as “Bee a Hero”, have done presentations for schools such as the Arbor Day program at St. Matthews K-8, and Science on the Move with Clemson Extension.  I enjoy doing workshops and presentations that people need in the community. Recently, I have helped members of the Ft. Mott Garden Club with Armadillos and offered a Feral Hog & Nuisance Species Workshop. We sponsor the November Litter Pick-Up in Calhoun County as well as the Envirothon, which partners with various natural resource groups and institutions of higher learning. This work has the goal of increasing environmental awareness, and we do this by providing engaging outdoor educational experiences for high school students.           

What sets you apart from other organizations that people might support? 

Our organization is non-profit.  We receive a very small amount of State/Federal funding and donations through our memberships provide the rest. We are limited in what we can do, and we'd like to address other needs.

How can someone get in touch with you? 

I can be reached by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 803-874-3337 ext. 3.

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QUESTIONS?

Contact Kristen ksimensen@calhouncountylibrary.org, or call at the Library 1-803-874-3389.