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MDARD Celebrates National Stewardship Week Highlighting Water Quality, Conservation Impact to Climate Change Efforts

National Stewardship Week runs April 30 - May 7, 2023

LANSING – With National Conservation Week just around the corner, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is not only celebrating the ways the department works with programs and partners to implement conservation practices in the agricultural community, but also showcasing how Michiganders can help conserve and protect the state’s water resources.

Celebrated annually since 1955, National Stewardship Week is one of the largest national programs promoting natural resource conservation. This year, it will be held the week of April 30 through May 7. The week is designed to shine a spotlight on the conservation efforts to preserve our ecology, natural resources, water quality and combat climate change.

In Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s proposed fiscal year 2024 executive budget, there is $10 million to support and implement additional climate smart, regenerative agriculture operations to further conservation practices across the state. These conservation practices help protect and preserve Michigan’s water and natural resources for future generations.

“Water is the foundation for healthy ecosystems, farming, and agriculture. It is also a fundamentally important part of our daily lives. With Michigan being surrounded by 20 percent of the planet’s fresh surface water, following conservation practices benefits every Michigander,” said Tim Boring, MDARD Director. “Agriculture has an important role to play to improve water quality in our lakes, rivers, and watersheds. Together, through a variety of programs and local, state, and federal partnerships, we can make a tangible difference in our environment.”

This year’s, the National Association of Conservation Districts, the driver behind National Conservation Week, chose the theme of, “One Water,” to recognize the role watersheds play in ecosystems. Watersheds are areas of land that drain rainfall and snowmelt to creeks, streams, and rivers leading to a bay, lake, or ocean. Every Michigander uses and lives within a watershed, even urban communities, which is why the health of our watersheds in fundamental to our daily lives.   

"Fresh water is the basic foundation of our daily life. Humans need clean fresh water just as much as plants, fish, birds, pets, livestock, wildlife, or other animals need it,” said Dan Moilanen, executive director, Michigan Association of Conservation Districts (MACD). “Stewardship Week 2023 celebrates the role we all can play in keeping our water clean and usable for all."

Healthy watersheds provide clean drinking water, healthy habitats for wildlife, water for agriculture which feeds our families and communities, outdoor recreation, and much more. MDARD, local conservation districts, and other partners work together with producers to protect the state’s watersheds through implementation of conservation practices aimed at improving local water quality.

For more information on MDARD’s conservation programs and partnerships, visit and click on the “Environment” button.