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New Partners: The National Association of RC&D Councils
1 December 2012, Author: Eric Neagu

Published by: Growing Rural

In October 2012, CROPS (now DBA Growing Rural) received a national contract to work with the National Association of Resource & Development Councils (NARC&DC) to assist in capacity building activities. Growing Rural services include prospect research to identify new funding sources; program development to create replicable model programs; consulting services on smart growth initiatives in urban and rural communities; and grant proposal writing to corporate, foundation and federal grant makers. This month the Growing Rural team and NARC&DC have been working with the Bitterroot Resource Conservation and Development Area to develop a Greenspace Prioritization Pilot project for proposal submission to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The $100,000 grant opportunity is called Wells Fargo Environmental Solutions for Communities 2013. The grant maker requires a 1:1 match in cash or in-kind value. NARCDC, Bitterroot RC&D, Weaver Boos Consultants and Growing Rural will share in the responsibility for providing matching contributions.  The Bitter Root Greenspace Project will map, prioritize and promote green infrastructure projects in Missoula County, Montana, while also providing a green implementation template for rural America. Targeting Missoula County, Montana, an area with evident natural area threats due to climate change and urbanization, this project will develop a green infrastructure template that is both meaningful locally, by providing education and on the ground conservation projects in Missoula County, but also valuable nationally as a template to be used by 375 Resource Conservation & Development Councils throughout rural America. Through an integrated public education approach, including input from federal, state, and local partners, as well as the community, this project will include: Mapping regional green infrastructure assets, opportunities, and challenges; Prioritization of implementation targets; 3 to 5 small scale green infrastructure projects, tree planting to reduce erosion in an area devastated by the Mountain Pine Beetle or recent forest fires; and development of a replicable template that can be used throughout rural America to target green infrastructure as a tool to protect and improve water quality and wildlife habitat.

The National Association of Resource & Development Councils (NARC&DC) is a member of the National Conservation Partnership  and has served as a national voice for up to 375 authorized RC&D Council areas located in all 50 states, the Caribbean, and Pacific Islands Area since 2005. These areas serve 85% of all US counties and 77% of the total US population. Collectively, the NARC&DC and local RC&D Councils have been providing direction, planning and implementation of projects within their boundaries for over 50 years. The RC&D Councils are working collaboratively with local leadership and thousands of skilled volunteers, public and non-profit partners to help keep rural America thriving.  Other project partners include, but are not limited to:

  • Weave Boos Consulting, Chicago, Illinois
  • US Government Grants – Houston, Texas
  • Native American Development Corporation – Billings, Montana
  • Montana State University Extension & Weed District – Missoula, Montana 
  • Missoula Conservation District – Missoula, Montana
  • Montana Department of Natural Resource & Conservation (DNRC) – Helena, Montana


RC&D Councils Track Record of Success
Between 1998 and 2010 the following cumulative accomplishments were achieved by the RC&D Councils across the Nation as documented by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, an agency of the US Department of Agriculture.

  • 49,346 projects completed
  • 8,039 new businesses created
  • 27,401 businesses expanded
  • 15,473 businesses retained
  • 13,473 businesses assisted
  • 759 rural cooperatives formed
  • 75,660 new jobs created
  • 25,326 jobs retained
  • $3,643,800,000 in grants leveraged and managed
  • 34,263,107 acres of wildlife habitat improved
  • 5,046,014 acres of lakes improved
  • 87,584 miles of streams improved
  • 9,973,274 people developed new skills
  • 27,778,939 economic or socially disadvantaged people impacted

For more information on the NARC&DC membership and current programs contact:

Andrew Gordon, Executive Director/Counsel
444 North Capitol Street, N.W., Suite 618
Washington, D.C. 20001
(P) 202-434-4780, (F) 202-434-4783

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