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Sycamore Trails RC&D joins national recognition week

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sycamore Trails Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) Council has joined with 375 other RC&Ds in the nation to celebrate National RC&D Week.

At their meeting on Sept. 15, Putnam County Commissioners Kristina Warren, Gene Beck and James Baird joined in this recognition by proclaiming the week of September 21-27 as RC&D (Resource Conservation & Development) Week in Putnam County.

Sycamore Trails RC&D Council, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that covers nine counties in west central Indiana. Board members from Putnam County include Bud Sharp, Brian Gilmartin, and Max Evans.

Since 1970 Sycamore Trails, led by local volunteers, has worked to provide a system of rural development to encourage wise use of our natural resources. Understanding the great gift we have in our land, RC&D Councils strive to find a balance between growth and conservation, by bringing together the private sector and local, state and federal agencies to work together to find answers to local challenges.

RC&D week was declared in recognition of the anniversary of the designation of the first 10 RC&D areas formed in the early 1960s. In the past 44 years the RC&D program has grown from 10 designated areas to 375 designated areas, covering over 85 percent of the United States and its territories.

The RC&D program is administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Secretary of Agriculture makes the total resources of the Department available to help carry out projects.

Bud Sharp, President of Sycamore Trails RC&D Council said, "After being with the Sycamore Trails RC&D for more than 13 years, I am amazed at the number of hours the volunteers are willing to contribute in order to accomplish the various projects each year to help their communities."

Annually, Sycamore Trails RC&D Council and its various committees carry out numerous projects in its nine-county area, helping to address issues such as sustainable land use, mine reclamation, rural fire protection, small business support and development, community land stewardship, tourism, and a variety of environmental education needs.

Indiana's NRCS State Conservationist Jane Hardisty said, "Working over the years with RC&D councils has been personally rewarding. I can think of no better way to recognize the efforts of these tireless volunteers than the recognition of RC&D Week throughout Indiana."

Indiana NRCS supports each RC&D council by providing a coordinator to work hand-in-hand with local leaders to reach the council's goals. The key to the success of the program is local involvement and leadership. Hardisty continued, "Each day RC&D demonstrates that locally developed solutions to local problems work the best. That's because people know their own community and are willing to work hard to make it a better place to live."

Sycamore Trails RC&D is an equal opportunity provider and employer. For more information, you may contact the office by phone at 653-9785, or visit our website at www.sycamoretrails.org

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