For Immediate Release
Media Contact:
Amy Work
& Member Programs Manager
317.692.7374 ext. 3
IASWCD Announces Director of New Urban Soil Health Program
Indianapolis (January 4, 2021) - The Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (IASWCD) announces Eliana Blaine as the Program Director of the new Urban Soil Health Program initiative beginning January 4. This Urban Soil Health Program is being launched as a partnership between the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts and the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). It will promote a systematic conservation approach to agriculture in urban settings and with farmers otherwise new to agriculture.

“We are excited to welcome Elli to our team," states Joe Schmees, Executive Director, IASWCD. "She brings an exceptional mix of experience, consisting of urban agriculture, soil health and partnership building. IASWCD and the Indiana Soil and Water Conservation Districts have a solid track record of implementing successful programs, and we are eager to extend that to urban and small scale producers across Indiana. Elli is the right person to help us lead the way!"

Blaine says, "This new program will take collaboration and coordination across the state and I'm excited to develop a strategic approach and team to get this program started and make it successful."

Elli has real "hands-on" experience with her work the past four years as an Assistant Manager with the non-profit farm Indy Urban Acres. She has been the Soil Health Outreach Coordinator and Specialist with the Marion and Hendricks County Soil and Water Conservation Districts. She will now lead a team of four Urban Soil Health Specialists located regionally to advance the Urban Program.

Blaine looks forward to meeting with district staff and urban farmers across the state in the coming months. She is eager to listen and learn more about the challenges and opportunities stakeholders face in advancing urban soil health practices. Any SWCD or individual that would like to find out more about the program and get involved can contact Blaine at
Blaine received a BA Degree in Environmental Studies, Magna Cum Laude from Wellesley College, Massachusetts and has participated in the International Honors Program: Cities in the 21st Century.

The Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (IASWCD) works at a state level to promote and enhance conservation through legislative advocacy, public outreach, and support of our 92 -member SWCDs in their local work. The IASWCD represents the interests of local Districts as one voice, and assists their leadership through coordination and education for the wise use and management of our natural resources.
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