About Us

2022 Outstanding Conservation District of the Year

East Region, Kentucky

The Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts (KACD) Recognition Program emphasizes the concepts of planning for success, organizational strenths to provide services, and quality of district services administered. KACD annually recognizes two (out of 121) Kentucky conservation districts for their outstanding programs - one from the western region and one from the eastern region. These two districts are honored at the Annual KACD State Convention and they share a presentation giving an overview of their programs.  

Fayette County is grateful to KACD for this recognition!

KACD Video FInal.mp4

Please enjoy this ten minute video overview of our programs!


Our mission at the Fayette County Conservation District is to sustain our local ecology in both urban and rural environments; including but not limited to the conservation, development, maintenance, and use of the land, water, trees, and other natural resources. We coordinate financial, technical, and educational assistance through local, state, and federal initiatives that support our community to implement sustainable practices. We seek to assist other local agencies and producers to implement sustainable and best management practices in cooperation with the Kentucky Agricultural Water Quality Plan and application of additional conservation efforts.


On August 5th, 1946 the Fayette County Soil and Water Conservation District was named a subdivision of Kentucky State Government with the purpose of promoting conservation and responsible management of natural resources. Our tasks include assisting with cost and educating about conservation practices. We partner with local, state, and federal government to sponsor and participate in activities that further our goal of an environmentally sustainable Fayette County.

Board of Supervisors

John Wright

Chair (term 2022 - 2026)

John Wright was born and raised on a production farm in south central Kentucky. He earned a Bachelor's degree in agricultural business and has experience working directly with farmers, particularly in agricultural retail. He hopes to help the District expand and improve-upon successful practices. 

Allen Carter

Vice Chair (term 2020-2024)

Allen Carter owns and operates Lexington’s Silver Springs Farm Eqwine & Vineyard. Carter’s selective-bred, 3-year old colt, Sellwood, recently competed in a Grade 1 race in Santa Anita! He is excited to open his winery in 2020 and will also reopen the 125-years dormant Silver Springs Distillery, established in 1867! Carter fondly recalls his UK Football Days (1982-1986) and enjoys his “world famous” sweet potato yeast rolls.  

Barbara "BJ" Bentley 

Treasurer (term 2020-2024)

Barbara “BJ” Bentley joins the Board with over 40-years of Kentucky-living, and a breadth of knowledge in varying areas. She has professional experience as an RN and a real estate broker – with focus on architectural preservation and land stewardship-- and spends much of her time now on her Thoroughbred farm. BJ has studied environmental science out of an interest sparked while in nursing school. Recently on her farm BJ established pollinator habitat, mitigated heavy use in pasture areas, and removed invasive honeysuckle, all in collaboration with the Conservation District.  

Aaron Clark 

Secretary (term 2023-2024)

Aaron Clark is a second-generation farmer in Central Kentucky, who focuses on grass finishing beef on his farming operation with his father. He has worked to grow his cattle herd and stake in the custom hay baling business. Aaron is a director on the Fayette Co Farm Bureau board, as well as an active member in their young farmer group. He is an advisor for the Central Ky Ag Credit Cultivate Program with a focus on helping young farmers grow and succeed. A graduate of Henry Clay, and the Leadership Lexington Youth program, he can’t wait to do all he can to continue to grow and help the FCCD thrive.

Robert C. Lofton II

Member (term 2023-2026)

Robert (Robbie) Lofton was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky. He graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a degree in business management, while also playing 4 years of college football. He’s currently working at Bolt Marketing as an account executive, helping businesses improve their marketing efforts. He is a third generation tobacco and cattle farmer with the hopes of sharing innovative ideas and building awareness of the District. 

Lynn Roche-Phillips Ph.D., A.I.C.P.

Member (term 2023-2024)

Lynn is an Associate Professor of Geography and co-lead of the Urban Forest Initiative (UFI) at the University of Kentucky. She is credentialed by the American Institute of Certified Planners. Prior to joining the faculty at UK in 2001, Lynn spent 17 years working in city planning with a focus on land use, water and air quality, airport master planning, and balancing development with environmental protection in coastal environments. Through the years, her scholarship has focused on growth management, thoroughbred landscapes, political economy, and historic land use change. Lynn served 9.5 years on the LFUCG Planning Commission and is an expert on Lexington’s urban services boundary. She and her husband, Jonathan, have two grown children and two brilliant and impossibly funny grandkids who live out of state. In her spare time, Lynn enjoys distance running and is an accomplished marathoner.

Mark Coyne Ph.D. 

Member (term 2023-2026)

Mark Coyne has recently retired from the University of Kentucky after 30 years of teaching, research, and administration. He was awarded a 2023 Bluegrass Trust Landscaping award for his ecological preservation work at African Cemetery No. 2, and multiple awards for his outstanding contributions to graduate education. His studies and publishings address methods for measuring and monitoring soil health. He hopes to contribute his experience in research and education to provide a resource able to explain and justify the underlying theory and practice for soil conservation, in the context of environmental quality and agricultural productivity. 

Former Board of Supervisors 

John James

Christopher Rowe

Brett Barton

Lillie Miller-Johnson

Angie Quigley

District Staff 

Heather Silvanik

Director of Operations

Heather Silvanik is an Ohio native who obtained a Masters of Fine Arts from Eastern Kentucky University. She is a published writer who has worked as an accountant, magazine editor, and coached three academic environmental problem-solving teams to two state championships. Heather currently manages the Fayette County Soil & Water Conservation District where she administers financial support to Lexington residents and businesses to promote conservation practices. 

Sarah Ward

Program Assistant 

Born and raised in Ashland, Kentucky, along the great Ohio River, the seeds of conservation and sustainability were planted within Sarah Ward from the start. A graduate of Ohio University (Athens, Ohio) with a degree in Applied Ecology, this Kentucky girl returned to the bluegrass with high hopes of developing sustainable change. Here she stands by an estimated 250 year old Burr Oak tree at McConnell Springs, one of the first homesteads in Fayette County. When she is not engaging diverse populations and tasks, you can find her grooming her garden and taking very slow nature walks. If you're curious about a species or need plant advice, don’t hesitate to ask her.

Technical Staff 

Update coming soon! 


Budget and Finance