I wonder how many readers are looking at these words while also enjoying the sounds of birds or frogs or water.

I wonder how many of us are doing this at the same time and remembering similar thoughts, thoughts which inevitably include the landscapes of our youth, the people we have loved and maybe even the community leaders who we’ve looked up to or who we feel we owe some gratitude for one reason or another.

We are all so much the same in the way we map our places and values within the landscapes of our world and our minds.

Landscapes matter deeply to human beings as the structural base that supports all other aspects of our lives. We find a home, build our lives within the perceived boundaries of that home landscape, and we deepen connections to the other people who love the same landscape, whether they are young or old or people who were born here or people who choose here to be home.

I am lucky to be able to write occasionally to you through the Enterprise paper and to work each day at the Hubbard County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), where staff and the elected board of supervisors try to see out actions that express this love for landscape, community and a meaningful future.

SWCD supervisors, who are elected to serve on the board, are advocates for soil and water quality as well as for the needs of the residents of the county. They work with skilled staff to create policies and find funding for programs that benefit and support the residents of Hubbard County in managing their lands and addressing issues, such as soil erosion and degradation as well water quality and water quantity.

At our Hubbard County SWCD, we meet once a month with all of the staff and supervisors to handle monthly business and to share ideas about how we can better serve the community. It’s on these meeting days that I smile the most because I am reminded of our common calling to care for and protect our community and landscapes.

I have endless respect for this group of people, all of whom are dedicated to going out of their way to serve Hubbard County and to make our world better. Included in this group are the supervisors, our many partnering organizations, our staff and especially all of the community members and landowners who reach out to us to ask questions or explain their vision or their needs for this beautiful, complex landscape and all of us people who call it home.



Crystal Mathisrud is manager of the Hubbard County Soil and Water Conservation District. Its mission is to provide leadership, education, technical advice, financial assistance to landowners, cooperating agencies for various programs and projects to pursue the sustainable management, wise use and protection of the district’s soil, water, forests, wildlife and recreational resources.