POMEROY — Representatives from the Buckeye Hills Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) spoke to the Meigs County Commissioners during Thursday’s regular meeting about the organization’s upcoming 50th anniversary.
Bob First told the commissioners that in August 1967 the RC&D formed serving a five county region. In 1983, it expanded to add four additional counties, including Meigs.
The Buckeye Hills RC&D is a tax exempt non-profit organization which was created with the overall goal of improving economic conditions through the development, conservation and proper use of natural resources.
The major concerns of the RC&D Council consist of land use planning, community development, rural fire protection, business development and job creation, and recreation and tourism.
In 2011, the RC&D lost federal funding through the USDA, when Congress terminated the funding nationwide. The council has continued to operate and is working to secure local sources of funds for long-term sustainability.
Programs through the RC&D include a revolving loan fund, Ohio Mineland Partnership, rural fire protection, RC&D Endowment Fund through the Marietta Community Foundation, assistance for local units of government and grant management.
Over the 50 years of the agency, more than 500 projects have been completed in the nine-county area served. The core areas for the projects are natural resources protection, water quality and water quantity improvement, community and economic development and tourism and water-based recreation development.
Since expanding to Meigs County in 1983, projects completed, said First, included dry hydrants for rural fire protection, abandoned mine land reclamation, work in the Leading Creek Water Shed and at the Soil and Water conservation area, an agriculture land use report and warm season grass demonstration.
The commissioners are expected to consider a resolution recognizing the 50th anniversary during an upcoming meeting.
A 50th anniversary celebration is set for Aug. 17 at the office in Marietta.