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What is Resource Conservation and Development?

Our Vision and Mission

RC&D in Maryland and Delaware

Southern Maryland RC&D Staff

Southern Maryland RC&D Board

Southern Maryland RC&D Brochure

 What is the Resource Conservation and Development program?

The Resource Conservation and Development program, typically shortened to RC&D, was originally started as a national program of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), established by the Food and Agriculture Act of 1962 and reauthorized in subsequent Farm Bills. RC&D provides a means for communities to address their natural resource and quality of life concerns. Active in every state and many of our territories, RC&D serves people at the local level through the activities of its now independent 501(c)(3) Councils. There are currently 375 Councils serving 85% of U.S. counties. In Southern Maryland RC&D’s case, the Council serves Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s Counties. In Maryland there are currently three RC&D Councils serving 17 of our 23 counties. All three of Maryland’s RC&D Councils are 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporations, each governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.

Each RC&D Council serves a specific geographic area through the collaborative development and implementation of an area specific strategic plan, or Area Plan. The Area Plan identifies the area’s unique opportunities and challenges connected to land conservation, land management, water management and community development. RC&D Councils work closely with a broad array of local project partners to develop and implement projects connected to their Area Plans. Project partners are typically from within each Council’s area but Councils may also cooperate with counties and project partners outside their areas in order to ensure that natural resource and quality of life concerns are fully addressed. Often Councils will cooperate with each other to address statewide or regional concerns.

The national RC&D motto is “Making things happen!” There are currently 375 RC&D Councils serving over 180 million Americans. RC&D is making things happen everyday all across our great nation.
For more information about the National Association of RC&D Councils, you can visit the NARCDC website at http://narcdc.org/.


 Vision & Mission


“People and the environment in harmony in Southern Maryland.”

The Southern Maryland RC&D Board of Directors believes that people and the environment can exist in harmony in Southern Maryland. We see a future Southern Maryland where our agricultural heritage is preserved and enhanced, our natural areas appreciated and our people enriched. Our every project promotes this ideal vision, taking us one step closer to people and the environment in harmony in Southern Maryland.


“Working in partnership with community groups and organizations, Southern Maryland RC&D is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the region by enabling the people and promoting the wise use of our natural and economic resources.”

Southern Maryland RC&D is dedicated to improving the quality of life in our four-county area. We believe that by working in partnership with our communities, by transferring valuable project and partnership building skills to our local partners, we can realize our idealized Southern Maryland. Our work is broadly inclusive to ensure that our efforts are collaborative and our vision shared. Through our considerable project work we are striving to:

Develop a comprehensive program to educate Southern Maryland Community Associations on fire hazard mitigation while making resources that enhance fire suppression capabilities available to volunteer fire departments.

Protect historical, cultural, archaeological and native resources to create sustainable economic development and heritage tourism opportunities and promote cross-cultural understanding for at least 5 communities in Southern Maryland by 2014.

Cooperate with schools and a wide array of regional partners to educate Southern Marylanders on the value of preserving and protecting our agricultural and natural heritage for the benefit of present and future generations through the development and annual distribution of educational materials.

Impact at least 20 businesses annually by preserving, increasing and/or further developing the economic and environmental viability of the diverse resource-based industries in Southern Maryland in a safe and sustainable manner.

Utilize diverse educational opportunities and outreach to Southern Maryland audiences to promote a land ethic that values native habitat in the RC&D Development Area.

Utilize diverse tools to promote land use practices and best management practices that minimize soil erosion and sedimentation in our rural, suburban and urban communities.

Help our county governments protect the Development Area’s unique agricultural heritage and natural character by presenting annually the most innovative development alternatives to partners, communities and agricultural operations.

Improve the Development Area’s literacy and capacity on water conservation through education and outreach throughout Southern Maryland between 2009 and 2014.


 RC&D in Maryland and Delaware

There are currently three RC&D Councils serving Maryland and one RC&D Council serving Delaware. For more information on Maryland Eastern Shore RC&D, Western Maryland RC&D and Delaware’s First State RC&D, please visit their websites.




If you are interested in volunteering for one of our projects, click here.

Southern Maryland RC&D is a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Any donation made to support our work is tax deductible. Click here for more information and to read our fundraising disclosure.

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Solicitations intended for residents
of the State of Maryland only





All RC&D programs and services are offered on a nondiscriminatory basis, without regard to race, age, marital or familial status, political beliefs or disability.

Southern Maryland RC&D Board, Inc.
26737 Radio Station Way, Suite D, Leonardtown, MD 20650
Phone: (301) 475-8427 ext. 6      Fax: (301) 475-8391