Community Development

The development of resource-based industries; the protection of rural industries from natural resource hazards; the development of adequate rural water and waste disposal systems; the improvement of recreation facilities; the improvement of rural housing; the provision of adequate health and education facilities; the satisfaction of essential transportation and communication needs; and the promotion of food security, economic development, and education. The goals, objectives, and strategies identified are consistent with those identified in the “Voices & Choices Report” for Northeast Ohio which identified as a major goal to foster economic growth & job creation while reducing sprawl and improving regional connectivity. 

Goal:

Foster economic growth & job creation through sustainable development practices by implementing projects each year in all 9 counties.


Objective:

Promote the establishment of Greenway trails.

Strategies:

  1. Provide grant support as requested to assist Park Districts in their efforts to expand greenway trails each year until completion.

Objective:

Provide support to all 9 counties in implementing conservation development practices on developing lands each year.

Strategies:

Use work completed by the Countryside Program, such as the Resource Manual, to promote implementation of such practices.



Goal:

Provide support to initiatives of The Farmland Center to preserve farmland and expand sustainable agriculture operations in Northeast Ohio.


Objective:

Promote agricultural retention and business expansion through sustainable community projects that will help preserve farmland and create new agricultural businesses in all 9 counties in Northeast Ohio.

Strategies:

  1. Provide support to the Countryside Conservancy to foster such efforts.


Goal:

Partner with Hispanic business groups to provide for the start-up and growth of Hispanic-based vegetable production agribusinesses in the region.


Objective:

Promote the expansion and diversification of local agribusiness operations and improve the local food economy by creating and expanding Farmers Markets.

Strategies:

  1. Provide support for the continuation of the Hispanic Farmers Market Diversity Project to expand into more counties resulting in the expansion of Farmers Markets in the area and creating agribusiness income potential for a diverse group of producers.


Goal:

Create and enhance agricultural and conservation education opportunities for students and teachers from a variety of grades and diverse backgrounds throughout the school year and summer.


Objective:

Coordinate and promote youth and teacher educational opportunities on agricultural issues with a goal to teach hundreds of youth annually about agricultural and food nutrition issues.

Strategies:

  1. Partner with Lake Farmpark to conduct a Food, Land, and People (FLP) teacher facilitator workshop to engage new facilitators functioning during the school year.
  2. Assemble a committee and host meetings to facilitate the incorporation of FLP coursework into Ohio Department of Education standards.
  3. Partner with the Painesville City Schools Hispanic Migrant Education Program to conduct a Food, Land and People (FLP) Summer Field Day for grade school students, resulting in Hispanic students/teachers trained on U.S. agricultural issues.

Objective:

 Support and promote conservation education through the regional and state level High School Envirothon competition supporting hundreds of youth and 20 schools in the region annually learning soils, forestry, and environmental issues that will lead to the development of future community leaders and decision makers aware of natural resource-based issues.

Strategies:

  1. Raise funds from local businesses and individuals with a goal of at least $1000.  These funds will be used as awards at the regional competition.  Schools will use the award money to cover part of the costs associated with traveling to the state competition.
  2. Assist SWCD’s to organize the event by providing technical resource professionals to assist with creating quizzes and teaching at the event, if requested, on an annual basis. 
  3. Provide materials needed on an annual basis at the competition such as vests and audio equipment purchased by the RC&D.
  4. Involve 1 or more Council members as volunteers at the event to assist as needed and present the awards.
  5. Develop and implement ways to diversify and expand the number and composition of Envirothon teams in the region.


Goal:

Provide for environmental service-learning employment opportunities for hundreds of current and graduating high school and higher education students and future working professionals, in an effort to strengthen and retain within the Northeast Ohio workforce professionals trained in natural resource management and conservation issues.


Objective:

To provide fiscal oversight and program guidance for the Council’s AmeriCorps National Service partnership with The Corps Network, GLISTEN (the Great Lakes Innovative Stewardship Through Education Network) project, for the purpose of generating environmental service-learning and employment opportunities for high school and higher education students and thereby promoting regional “brain gain”.

Strategies:

  1. Provide a contract to a coordinator for the GLISTEN AmeriCorps project and support continuation of the project by seeking additional funding to continue the project.
  2. Facilitate service-learning and employment partnerships between RC&D member organizations and the region’s high schools, colleges, universities with students engaged in the project to expand service-learning and employment opportunities for them.
  3. Enroll, provide a living allowance subgranted by The Corps Network for, and share oversight of a full-time AmeriCorps National Service member with the YMCA of Greater Cleveland to launch the Cleveland site of the Department of Interior’s national “Play Learn Serve Work” on public lands initiative.

Objective:

Provide a Wetland and Soils Real Estate Course at Lakeland Community College on an annual basis with a goal to train more professionals each year, resulting in hundreds of homeowners receiving proper information to make wise land use decisions in purchasing homes and developing properties.

Strategies:

  1. Partner with the Real Estate Association to conduct an accredited course for real estate agents regarding home site soils limitations and wetland issues in an effort to help homeowners and real estate agents gain a better understanding of natural resource concerns on building sites and private lots.


Goal:

Initiate a mass media environmental learning tool that will provide environmental education programming to a diverse audience of hundreds of thousands of people in the Northeast Ohio TV viewing area.


Objective:

Initiate and continue the Program entitled “Raising the Environmental IQ of Northeast Ohio.” by partnering with area foundations, WKYC TV, ODNR, NRCS, and SWCDs.

Strategies:

  1. Assist with grant writing and oversee grant expenditures for this project (on going until new grants and funding are obtained and/or completion of project).
  2. Partner with ODNR, NRCS and SWCD’s to incorporate water quality and other environmental factual data to WKYC Channel 3 weather forecaster and website to educate hundreds of thousands of individuals on program opportunities, BMPs, and conservation activities they can engage in.


Goal:

Partner and provide outreach efforts to various organizations in an effort to develop one or more recreational/tourism opportunities involving minority groups.


Objective:

Work with the Northeast Ohio Native American Community to acquire grant funding to develop a Native American Cultural Garden in the City of Cleveland’s Rockefeller Park.

Strategies:

  1. Partner with Native American community representatives to apply for grants leading to the development of a cultural garden in the city of Cleveland that will be used for recreational, tourism, and economic development purposes benefiting the Native American community.
  2. Assist Native American community representatives with planning for development of the garden.