Virginia Association of Conservation District Employees

Register to become a 2023 VACDE member here!



The VACDE is an organization consisting of Virginia soil and water conservation district employees, directors, and partner agency personnel.

Our MISSION is to provide professional development, leadership, and a voice for communicating issues and solutions on behalf of conservation district employees. Our VISION is to be a professionally accepted and integrated work force of employees dedicated to the conservation of natural resources.

The VACDE sponsors and conducts an annual summer training session at Graves Mountain Lodge, which focuses on the training needs of district administrative, educational and technical employees.  The trainings will help employees meet continuing education requirements. Scholarships provided by the VACDE and in partnership with the VASWCD are available for training opportunities.


  • Provide training, professional development, and recognition opportunities for all employees.
  • Demonstrate leadership in addressing employee problems and issues.
  • Improve communication between district employees, directors, the VASWCD, and partners.
  • Expand VACDE membership.
  • Provide Benevolence Fund to assist district employees in times of financial hardship.

VACDE Activities 

The VACDE participates in and conducts numerous activities that benefit not only employees, but also SWCDs statewide. VACDE activities include:

  • Through a nomination process, the VACDE selects an outstanding conservation district employee and presents that employee with the Outstanding Conservation District Professional Award along with a monetary gift (at the VASWCD Annual Meeting).
  • The VACDE provides service awards to members for length of service.
  • The VACDE sponsors and conducts an annual summer training session. For many years, the training session has been held at Graves Mountain Lodge in Syria, Virginia. This three-day event focuses on the training needs of districts’ administrative, technical, and educational employees. The training topics are determined by employee input.
  • The VACDE offers scholarships to individual training events including the Graves Mountain training and VASWCD Annual Meeting.
  • The VACDE provide suggestions to the VASWCD for employee training at the annual meeting.

Become a VACDE Member

For additional information on the VACDE, additional projects and programs, membership information/form and more reference the  VACDE Brochure. 

Register to become a 2023 VACDE member here!

The VACDE established in 2014 a Benevolence Fund to aid and assist all currently employed Virginia Soil & Water Conservation District employees, who are members of the VACDE, as needed during times of financial hardships. All associate member dues – those collected from directors, associates and partners, etc – are directly put towards building the benevolence fund for district staff in need. If you, a district staffer, would like to consider applying for assistance please review and download the Benevolence Fund Request Form and Guidelines for the Benevolence Fund/Program.

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