Madison County Welcomes Urban Conservationist

Phylis Vandevere - Madison County ConservationistPhylis Vandevere joined the District team as the Urban Conservationist on April 20, 2016. Phylis, a Yazoo County native, has long been affiliated with conservation. Following graduation from MS State University with a degree in Agricultural Communications she worked with the MSU Extension Service. She has been a Soil Conservationist with the MS Soil & Water Conservation Commission for the past 9 Years. Phylis was responsible for providing assistance to twelve Soil & Water Conservation Districts in the Central Area, including Madison. She was a key figure in the successful implementation of the Model Urban Natural Resources Conservation Plan. The four-year project which was completed at the end of 2001, addressed the problems associated with protecting our valuable natural resources while maintaining a suitable quality of life for rapidly developing urban areas. The project originally involved the City of Madison and the Culley and Brashears Creeks watershed areas but the problems and solutions are applicable over the entire county.

Phylis will be tackling these same concerns on a county-wide basis. She will be meeting with City Councils and the Board of Supervisors to form conservation partnerships.

As an ex-officio member of city planning and zoning boards Phylis can make recommendations on urban best management practices for Madison County’s rapid urban development. Her job will put her in contact with contractors, developers, homeowner’s associations, individual landowners, school boards and students, just to name a few. Phylis will provide assistance in all areas of conservation with a special emphasis on urban issues as our county continues to grow.

Tom Heard, District Conservationist said, “Protecting Madison County’s resources and promoting incentives for positive changes in growing communities prompted the creation of the new position. She will be a real benefit to the county in developing environmentally friendly approaches to the processes of planning and development . We feel like we’ve added an individual with experience in these areas.”