top of page

What is Resource Conservation and Development?

The Resource Conservation and Development program, typically shortened to RC&D, began as a national program of the U.S. 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) organizations, often called councils. There are currently over 150 RC&D councils serving 85% of U.S. counties. In Maryland, there are three RC&D councils serving 17 counties. All three are 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporations, each governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. Southern Maryland RC&D serves Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Prince George's and St. Mary’s counties.

Each RC&D develops and implements an area-specific strategic plan. The plan identifies unique opportunities and challenges connected to land conservation, land management, water management, and community development. RC&D works closely with a broad array of local project partners to develop and implement projects connected to the plans. Project partners are typically from within RC&D's area, but RC&D may also cooperate with counties and project partners outside the area in order to ensure that natural resource and quality of life concerns are fully addressed. Often, RC&D councils will cooperate with each other to address statewide or regional concerns.

Southern Maryland RC&D's projects have ranged from installation of dry fire hydrants for local fire departments to extensive shoreline restoration work on Navy installations, and from construction of a year-round farmer's market facility to protection of thousands of acres of our beautiful rural lands.

The national RC&D motto is “Making things happen!” RC&D is making things happen everyday for over 180 million Americans all across our great nation. For more information about the National Association of RC&D Councils, you can visit the NARCDC website at
Photo Credit: ©Michael Montillo
Facebook: Michael Montillo Photography 

bottom of page