Hanover-Caroline Soil and Water Conservation District

Save the Date!

Donald L. Wells, Long-time District Director, Inducted into National Association of Conservation District's Prestigious Hall of Distinction

DonWellsNACDHOD021323Mr. Wells,left, receives the Hall of Distinction Award from Tim Palmer, Immediate Past President, NACD

The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) Hall of Distinction recognizes and honors District officials who have made major contributions to our nation's Conservation Movement. Mr. Wells was inducted into the NACD Hall of Distinction at the organization's 77th Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, on February 13.

Don grew up on a farm in Isle of Wight County and graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a BS Degree in Agricultural Engineering. Don worked as a Certified Professional Engineer in various positions with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation for 30 years, retiring with distinction as Department Deputy Director. This was followed by six years with the National Association of Conservation Districts as a Water Quality Specialist. Mr. Wells and his wife, Pam, have been Hanover County residents since 1970.

Throughout his career, Mr. Wells has developed individual, agency, and corporate relationships across the Commonwealth of Virginia and the country. He has devoted much time and energy to the cause of conservation through 25 years of volunteer service as an elected Director of the Hanover-Caroline Soil and Water Conservation District. That service has expanded into a deep commitment to the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (VASWCD) where he currently serves as Secretary/Treasurer. He is also active in many professional organizations such as the Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS), American Society of Agricultural Engineers (ASAE), and The Nature Conservancy. He has been awarded for his leadership and accomplishments by both SWCS and ASAE.

Don’s varied and extensive background have been a tremendous source of introduction, interest, and acceptance of Virginia’s soil and water work in the legislative community, as well as with the public. Don is known for investigating, and thoughtfully considering, aspects of the role that conservations districts play, and follows up with correspondence and mentoring among his peers and other associates. This is always done in the manner of a great leader, through the actions of a gentleman and statesman. He has been recognized with the Bobby Wilkinson award in Virginia, the highest recognition a district official can receive. Don’s work extends beyond this level, and recognition in NACD’s Hall of Distinction is most deserved.

The VASWCD officers, district officials across the Commonwealth of Virginia, conservation district employees, and partners take this occasion to express our deep gratitude for the accomplishments of Donald L. Wells, but more importantly for the example that he has provided to those of us who have had the privilege to serve with him. He is more than a public servant, friend, and fellow district official and truly captures what makes conservation districts a family.

"I greatly appreciate the nomination by the leaders of the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts and the National recognition by the National Association of Conservation Districts," said Mr. Wells.


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The District's mission is to provide and promote leadership in the conservation of natural resources through proper stewardship and educational programs.


The District promotes the conservation of natural resources through initiatives that include serving as a primary resource for educational and technical assistance to local government, schools, civic groups, agriculture, and urban, transitional and business communities.


The District consists of a citizen board of elected and appointed directors and a full-time staff of conservation, education, and administrative specialists.

Director Terms of Service

Two directors are elected to represent Hanover County and two are elected to represent Caroline County. Each serve a 4-year term and are elected in the November general election. Two at-large members are appointed by the Board to serve as directors. Additionally, non-voting associate directors are appointed by the Board.

Directors and Officers

  • Leigh Pemberton, Director, Chairman, appointed
  • Donald L. Wells, Director, Vice Chairman, Secretary, elected, Hanover
  • Cindy Smith, Director, Treasurer, elected, Caroline
  • George Rice, Director, elected, Hanover
  • Joseph H. Stepp, III, Director, Vice-Chairman, elected, Caroline
  • Laura Maxey-Nay, Director, appointed, Virginia Cooperative Extension agent
  • Tim Tobin, Associate Director, appointed, Caroline
  • J. Timothy Etheredge, Associate Director, appointed, Hanover
  • Casey Engel, Associate Director, appointed, Caroline
  • Meredeth Dash, Associate Director, appointed, Hanover