Supporting Conservation by Providing Resources and Knowledge

Fairbanks Soil & Water Conservation District promotes sustainable land development and works with private landowners to address their natural resource concerns.  By partnering with local, state and federal organizations, the FSWCD provides education and technical assistance to private landowners with issues related to soil, agriculture, water, invasive species, forestry, land development, and other related natural resource issues.  Please contact your local legislators to encourage them to support soil & water districts statewide!



Our Spring 2023 Newsletter Is Here!

See what's new at FSWCD and what's coming up!

Click here to read our Spring 2023 Newsletter!



Indoor Gardening Ideas

If you're interested in growing food in your home this winter and spring, here are some helpful ideas and information for successful inexpensive indoor gardening projects.


Click HERE to go to our page with more information

If you have any questions, feel free to email Mel Sikes at

  Our Fall 2022 Newsletter is Here!

 Check out what we have been up to over the field season!


   Click here to read our Fall 2022 Newsletter!


The AFFECT Program Community Workshops

AFFECT is a FSWCD project to develop a community farm. As part of the USDA funded program we are hosting a series of free summer workshop on series on local food for Fairbanks residents. Registration is required. Workshop topics will include hydroponics, foraging, food preservation, compost, and more. Check out our Eventbrite event collection, website, and Facebook for more!

Click HERE for more information.


Attention: Aquarium moss ball update and Q&A

"Invasive zebra mussels have been found in "moss balls,” an aquarium plant product sold at aquarium and pet supply stores.  Zebra mussels are regarded as one of the most destructive invasive species in North America.

Zebra mussels can quickly take over once they get established in a waterbody and cause significant damage including disrupting the food chain, changing the chemistry of the water (which can cause more blue green algae outbreaks or offensive taste), and clogging water intake and delivery systems. The concern is that live mussels released into a storm drain or flushed could be introduced into a waterway." - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service


More info and Q&A found here.



Soil Nutrient Testing

It's time to get your soil samples into FSWCD for testing. It's best to sample in the fall to get an accurate estimate of what's in your soil for next years growing season! We can do it now though. Email or call 479-1213 Ext. 7 for more information. You can also check out our soil testing page for more information.



Elodea eradication in interior Alaska

The second season of herbicide treatment in Chena Slough will begin the week of June 25th. The aquatic herbicide fluridone is being used to eradicate the invasive aquatic plant elodea from the waters of Chena Slough. For more details click on the "Elodea in interior Alaska" tab. 

Herbicide treatment of the invasive elodea infestation in Totchaket Slough will begin this summer! Totchaket Slough is a remote clearwater slough off the Tanana River about 12 miles downstream on Nenana. A dense 230-acre elodea infestation was discovered there in 2015. Stay tuned for more details of our progress on eradicating elodea in the area... 


Indoor Gardening Curriculum!

Alaska Agriculture in the Classroom has developed a set of indoor gardening lessons, the Alaska Indoor Gardening Curriculum. In the spring of 2017, AK AITC was awarded a grant from the National Agriculture in the Classroom organization to develop this resource. This work was supported in part by the Agriculture in the Classroom Grant no. 2017-38858 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. It was also supported by a grant from the Alaska Farm Bureau. 

This curriculum is a compilation of lessons developed by the Alaska Agriculture in the Classroom program, the National Agriculture in the Classroom (NAITC) organization, and educators throughout Alaska who have developed, reviewed, and piloted many these activities.  Please be patient with us. This is a work in progress, some links are currently in development and will be available soon.

Click HERE to go to the page.

FSWCD has put together a short resource to help producers assess where they stand under the Produce Safety Rule, a portion of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). This resource shows how to identify a producer’s current exemption status, and then gives an overview of the compliance requirements associated with each exemption status (fully exempt, qualified exempt, and non-exempt).

If you are curious about how a producer’s exemption status is determined and what could cause it to change, or if you would like an idea of the farm safety practices the Produce Safety rule advocates for, then please check out this resource here 


Click HERE for a PDF of the FSMA procedures and exemption help guide.


Fox Springs

Fox Springs is open and functioning. Please help Friends of Fox Springs to fund the repairs needed to keep it functioning. 

Please help us keep the water flowing. Fox Spring near Fairbanks, Alaska has been a vital source of clean water for people from near and far for over 100 years. The Alaska Dept. of Transportation- Public Facilities budget had eliminated upkeep for Fox Spring and had scheduled a shut down on July 1, 2017. A strong grass-roots effort to honor our water and to raise money was started.The group, Friends of Fox Spring was successful in raising enough money needed to cover operation and maintenance for a little while, but still needs support to keep it going.  To learn more, and contribute to the fund, please go to:


Soil Class for Realtors

The CE Shop is now hosting an online Continuing Education course called Alaskan Soils and Environmental Concerns for Realty. This course was created by staff at FSWCD with the goal of providing Alaskan real estate agents with the tools and knowledge to deal with permafrost and other issues presented by our unique climate. The course is informative for any landowner or prospective land buyer/house builder in Alaska. The following discount code will get you 25% off the cost of the course (full price is $35): ALASKA25.





Elodea is the first non-native invasive aquatic plant to become established in Alaskan water bodies. It has been found in waterbodies in Anchorage, Cordova, the Kenai Peninsula, the Matanuska-Susitna area, and the Fairbanks area.  It was first detected in the Chena River system in 2009. Surveys conducted in 2011 and 2012 revealed that the lower 10 miles of Chena Slough which runs through North Pole was heavily infested with Elodea. In addition, Chena Lake, at Chena Lakes Recreation Area was found to be infested with Elodea, and a few isolated patches of Elodea were found in the Chena River. In 2015, Totchaket Slough, a slackwater slough located about 60 miles downriver of Fairbanks, was found to be heavily infested as well. As of 2022 the interior has 16 active eldoea infestations and 3 infestations that been eradicated. The majority of these infestations are located between North Pole and Birch Lake on the Richardson Highway. Recreators should take time to Clean, Drain, and Dry their watercraft and equipment before and after visiting any waterbody to help stop the spread of Elodea. 

                                            2015-2020 Elodea Surveys

The maps below show the specific Elodea survey locations from 2015-2020. The majority of the sites have been surveyed once, while the heavily trafficked bodies of water have been surveyed multiple years (white dot).                                               

In Alaska, Elodea infestions can be expected to increase sedimentation, displace native vegetation, reduce biodiversity, degrade sensitive fish habitat, and interfere with safe river travel and floatplane operation. Elodea can be spread readily via boats and floatplanes, and because it reproduces vegetatively, a single fragment is all that is needed to start a new infestation. The Fairbanks Soil and Water Conservation District and its partners utilize the aquatic herbicide Fluridone to control and eradicate elodea. For more details please follow the links below. 

Photos from Elodea surveys and treatments:

Treating Manley Hot Springs Slough with pellet herbicide, 2020

Spraying pellet herbicide in Totchaket Slough, 2020

Conducting herbicide treatment in Birch Lake, 2020

FSWCD employee performing rake throws for Elodea surveys, 2020

FSWCD employees conducting the second herbicide application in Chena Slough on August 8th, 2017 

The pink pigmentation on the leaves are an indication of post-treatment herbicide damage to elodea (July 27th, 2017)



Divers from Test the Waters Dive Shop are conducting mechanical 

control of a small patch of elodea in the Chena River



1. Prevention and Eradication of Noxious & Invasive Species

2. Conservation of Plant and Soil Resources
3. Sustainable Agricultural Resources & Economy
4. Conservation/Maintenance of Water Resources
5. Conservation of Forest Resources
6. Education, and
7. Promotion of Affordable Energy

Click map for a larger image


News and Events

Calendar of Events
Now available online! Click here to see the latest meetings and events!