History

The Western Reserve Resource Conservation Council was established in October of 1989. Each county is represented by a representative appointed by its S&WCD, County Commissioners and one at large agreed to by both. Full council meetings are held quarterly and executive committee meeting in the intervening months.

Grant Programs we have worked with:

  • Arthur Holden Jr.
  • Cleveland Foundation
  • Cyrus Eaton Foundation
  • Division of Soil and Water Conservation
  • Frohring Foundation
  • Gund Foundation
  • Kent Smith Foundation
  • Nord Family Foundation
  • Ohio Department of Agriculture
  • Ohio EPA
  • Ohio EPA Environmental Education Fund
  • Small Business Administration
  • Storer Foundation
  • U.S. Dept. of Agricultural
  • U.S. EPA
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
  • Wetland Reserve Enhancement Program (WREP)

Conservation Project Partners:

  • Case Western Reserve University     
  • Conservation Project Partners:          
  • Cuyahoga Valley National Park           
  • Dominion Energy      
  • Ducks Unlimited        
  • Federal Farm & Ranch Protection     
  • Grand River Partners Inc.   
  • Great Lake Science Center    
  • Greater Western Reserve Boy Scout Council
  • Holden Forest & Garden Lake Farmpark           
  • Lake Metroparks        
  • Lorain County Community College  
  • Nature Conservancy           
  • Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education          
  • Northeast Ohio’s Fund for our Economic Future           
  • Ohio Association of RC&D Councils
  • Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife 
  • Ohio DOA’s Rural Rehabilitation Program   
  • Soil and Water Conservation Districts          
  • Summit County Board of Education 
  • Technical Service Provider Funding Project for Districts    
  • U.S. Forest Service    
  • Ursuline College        
  • USDA on Opportunities to Partner on Alternative Energy Programs 
  • USDA Wetland Reserve Program     
  • YMCA (Lake County)           

History of the Western Reserve RC&D

1989 October:     A steering committee was formed to begin the process of forming by-laws and applying for USDA funds under the name of the Western Reserve Resource Conservation and Development Council.

1990:     A formal application was submitted to the U.S. Dept. of Agricultural for funding support.

1991:     Officers were elected, projects adopted, and Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation written. Council members approved the purpose of the Western Reserve RC&D being to accelerate the conservation, development and utilization of natural resources to improve the general level of economic activity, and to enhance the environment and standard of living.

1992:     Council received official nonprofit status from IRS. Fund raising efforts for the Envirothon program began and continues to this day.

1993:     Council received charitable trust status from the State of Ohio. Council supported the Grand River Protection Project received funding private and public foundation sources

1994:     Council assembled a draft Long Range Plan identifying goals related to water quality, open and farmland preservation, drainage and flooding concerns, water-based recreational projects, urban stormwater and erosion control, solid and yard waste disposal, diversifying rural income, improvement of recreational and transportation facilities, community fire protection facilities, and promotion of conservation education activities and facilities.

1995:     Council initiated a major program to assist local communities aimed at promoting sensitive land use and development practices in Northeast Ohio. Council formed a special committee to develop the Countryside Program – Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area and to seek out private foundation support.

1996:     The Grand River Watershed Project with funding being appropriated for conservation easements, nonpoint pollution practices on agricultural lands, and educational workshops and displays aimed at watershed protection.

1997:     Council signed agreements with USDA, NRCS and the Trust for Public Land to provide special assistance to the Grand River Protection Project in securing conservation easements. Council also partnered with the Ohio Association of RC&D’s and the Division of Soil and Water Conservation in receiving state administrative grant funding. The “Countryside Program” was also expanded with over 50 educational sessions.

1998:     A Riparian Area Protection Plan was developed under the Grand River Protection Project. The Farmland Preservation Committee established Center for Farmland Preservation in Northeast Ohio.

1999: Additional grant founding obtained for the Countryside Program. The “Common Groundwork” land preservation workbook was published with grant funding from the Lake Erie Protection Fund.

2000:     A full time coordinator was hired to support the growing Center for Farmland Preservation project

2001:      Continued to support major project initiatives. i.e. Countryside Program, Center for Farmland Preservation, Food Land and People, watershed conservation easements on local rivers.

2002:     The Food, Land and People (FLP) agricultural education program was initiated in the area. Initiated the Hazard Mitigation/Dry Hydrant Program. Supported the establishment Grand and Conneaut Creek Watersheds conservation easements

2003:     The Food, Land, and People Project introduced “Farmer for a Day” elementary student summer workshops.

2004:     The Countryside Program and the Center for Farmland Preservation (now the Farmland Center) projects had attained self-sufficiency and spun off on their own. The Entrepreneurial Agriculture project was funded. The Nash Family Farm Conservation Easement in Lake County was completed.

2005:     The USDA Resource Conservation & Development program was defunded from the national budget, but still left as a federal legislated program. This event has significantly impacted future efforts. The Entrepreneurial Agricultural Booklet published

2006:     Support of YMCA Camp Whitewood acquire funding for a new wastewater system. Support of the Perry YMCA Outdoor Family Center. Promoted a Wetland and Soils Accredited Course for Real Estate Agents. Accomplished conservation easement funding under the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Program (WREP) Funding

2007:     Initiated: CLEAN (Collaborative Learning for Environmental Action Network) project, Environmental IQ project, WRP Pilot Project. Held Food, Land, and, People (FLP) workshop for Hispanic and intercity youth, North Union Farmer’s Market Diversity project, HOLA (a Latino outreach, advocacy and community organizing), Native American Cultural Garden Center, Northeast Ohio Wetland Reserve Program Pilot Project.

2008:     The Hispanic Farm Market project.

2009:    The economic downturn in 2009 also affected grant requests and donations for Council’s budget and projects.

2010:     Initiated Hispanic Farm Market Project.

2011 – 2014:    Supported on going conservation projects.

2015:     Began support of Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH). Initiated the Great Lakes Innovative Stewardship Through Educational Network (GLESTEN).

2016 – 2017:    Supported Painesville Hispanic Youth Summer Migrant Program.

2018:     Initiated Saint Casimir Church Infrastructure stormwater project.

2019:     Initiated the Regenerative Agriculture project.