It has been an honor and pleasure to have been asked to serve as the 2023 President of the Erie Basin Resource Conservation and Development Council. The conservation of our natural resources is something near and dear to my heart, as getting out and enjoying our beautiful natural resources is one of my favorite hobbies and I want to ensure those same natural resources will be available for future generations to enjoy. More importantly, these natural resources are critically valuable to everyone’s lives, and conservation efforts should be a priority for all.
Our awesome group of individuals that comprises our team includes our hard-working regional coordinator that keeps us all together; Greg Small, various council members, county commissioners, SWCD personnel, economic development professionals, and members at large, from a ten-county region. They are all equally passionate about serving the region and coordinating strategic initiatives that fulfill the organization’s mission, “To promote economic and social development in a way that protects natural resources and serve as a catalyst for conservation programs in the Erie Basin area.”
I implore you to explore the Erie Basin RC&D’s website to learn more about the various resources the program offers and to learn more about previous projects the group has been involved in. One of our program’s niches that has allowed the program to grow and flourish is the Erie Basin RC&D’s Revolving Loan Program that lends money to businesses and startups in our ten-county region. The primary goal of the RLF program, aside from helping small businesses grow and sustain themselves is the creation of private-sector jobs and the stabilization and/or development of natural resources. The Downtown Revitalization RLF program’s goal is the continued re-development and revitalization of downtowns in our ten-county area. Positive impact in the form of successful business creations and sustainment from these loan programs can be seen in many of the downtowns we serve.
I also encourage you to check out the various projects the organization has been involved in over the years. Erie Basin RC&D takes pride in educating the public, especially the youth, or the next generation of conservators. We are especially proud of one of our most valuable training assets; a six-foot animatronic earth worm, called: SK Worm, modeled after the NRCS mascot, and is the only one of its kind in the world. This larger-than-life worm teaches the young and young-at-heart about various layers of soil composition, soil conservation, soil diversity and renewable energy, and is available for a rental fee to educational groups.
I look forward to 2023 and in working with an awesome group of individuals and organizations in furthering the mission of the program. Please check out our website periodically to see what we’re up to and to see how you can potentially support and spread these conservation efforts. Thank You! – Michalina Schneider