The Buckeye Hills Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) Council will be announcing 2016 grant recipients from round 6 funding for projects in the RC&D area. Over the past several years, the RC&D Council has been able to offer grant funds through the RC&D Endowment Fund. These funds have provided local match for projects related to natural resources, environment, community development, and historical preservation in the nine-county RC&D region. The RC&D covers Athens, Belmont, Hocking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Perry, and Washington Counties.
According to Robert First, Executive Director with the RC&D Council, the endowment fund was started in 1998 in cooperation with the Marietta Community Foundation, and with generous donations from council members, SWCD’s, and others, we were able to begin granting project funds in 2006. The Endowment Fund balance is currently around $35,000.
We have had five grant cycles; 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 & 2014. Since 2006, a total of 14 $600 grants have been awarded to projects in the nine RC&D counties. Projects completed are as follows:
2008: Athens County-Athens Bikeway Trail Map; Monroe County-Sardis Community Development Improvement; Noble County-Mount Ephraim Historical Spring Project.
2010: Hocking County-Butterfly Gardens Trail ID Signage; Morgan County-Community Garden Development Project; Perry County-“Growing Green” greenhouse project.
2012: Meigs County-Atkins Conservation Trail Improvement; Monroe County-Fairgrounds Natural Resources Area; Washington County-Barlow Fairgrounds Conservation Area.
2014: Belmont County-Olney Friends School Vernal Pool; Washington County-Sheep & Goat Producers Association.
The schedule for the 2016 grant cycle will be to announce and award the grants to the counties at the May RC&D council meeting. The grant recipients then have one year to complete their project.
A very satisfying part of this program is the amount of other dollars that can be matched up with our grant awards. A minimum match of 1:1 is required, but often, the amount from other sources far exceeds the minimum match. We have had projects that value thousands of dollars as the result of a small grant that groups can use as local match, First added.
The RC&D Council is working to increase the endowment fund with the hope of making larger grant awards in the future. The needs in the nine-county area are many, and efforts to help the quality of life and well-being of our citizens is important. The RC&D Council has a goal to increase the fund to the $50,000 level by the end of 2016. Any size donation is greatly appreciated. Please consider a fully tax-deductible donation to help continue the growth of the fund and the implementation of worthwhile projects in the RC&D area. If you have questions, or to receive an information brochure, contact the RC&D office at 740-374-6655, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at buckeyehillsrcd.org.