Education and outreach about Washington County soil, water and natural resources are the first things on Todd Thornburg’s mind.
Recently named the executive director for the Washington County Conservation District, Thornburg first wants to pursue new educational classes, agriculture resources and legislation to help improve the district.
“I want to create a new identity for the Conservation District,” Thornburg said. “We need to get the word out about our mission by education and outreach programs. If the community knows about our new mission, we will have a better opportunity to learn about complaints.”
Born in Washington, Thornburg attended the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School at Fort Monmouth, N.J., and later attended the U.S. Military Academy. He graduated with a bachelor of science degree in environmental science with a minor in systems engineering in 1997. Before receiving his master’s degree in military studies from the Marine Corps University, Thornburg served in multiple military leadership positions in U.S. Army Headquarters organizations.
According to the Washington County Conservation District website, the mission is to coordinate and implement statewide and local programs to conserve soil health and water quality for the community. Thornburg said there will be a two-to-five-year strategic plan to implement new technology for the county.
“We have to see what new technology is out there that will work best for our county,” Thornburg said. “We can use this new technology on our sites, analyze that data that comes back to us and see what we need to improve on.”
One of the issues that Thornburg has seen around Washington is the runoff rain that is causing slides throughout the county.
“Our county is filled with clay soil, and it’s just that time of year that we have an excess amount of rain,” Thornburg said. “The runoff rain creates slips on the clay soil. We will be working to help the new development projects that are being worked on throughout the county. We can’t stop the rain – but we can create plans to stop the erosion.”
Thornburg said he wants to create an educational nature trail next to the Conservation District building on Old Hickory Ridge Road.
The Washington County Conservation District meets on the second Tuesday of every month.