Berkshire-Pioneer Resource Conservation and Development Area, Inc. (BPRC&D) is a non-profit organization that helps citizens stimulate economic opportunities, conserve natural resources and improve the general quality of life in rural areas. Based in Amherst, Massachusetts, the Berkshire-Pioneer RC&D serves the four western counties of Massachusetts and manages several programs for the entire state. Our projects provide technical assistance, training, education and outreach, as well as cost share for certain programs.
What is RC&D?
RC&D stands for Resource Conservation and Development. The RC&D program, established in 1962 as a federal program was, until April 15th 2011, administered by the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) which provided funding for a Coordinator.
The purpose of the RC&D Program is to encourage and improve the capability of volunteers, locally elected, and civic leaders in designated RC&D Areas to plan and carry out projects for resource conservation and community development that lead to sustainable communities, prudent land use and the sound management and conservation of natural resources.
RC&D is quite unique in that all our projects and activities are determined and directed by local citizens, for local citizens. People from all walks of life can become directly involved by speaking up and taking action through RC&D to improve their communities. This "people program" begins at the grass roots level and works to help rural individuals and groups get organized to take specific steps to help themselves.
The "core" of this organization is the Council (Board of Directors) that directs all our activities. Membership on the Council consists of representatives from local sponsoring agencies and organizations, local Conservation Districts, and members-at-large, and other local groups.
In some instances, Berkshire-Pioneer RC&D may simply lend support to on-going activities. However, in most cases, we help organize a project and obtain technical assistance in planning and the necessary funding to achieve success. To accomplish these projects, RC&D staff and Council members seek out all available resources to assist its citizen groups. Berkshire-Pioneer RC&D works closely with communities, associations, and local government bodies on a continuing basis to keep abreast of local needs and opportunities.
Since its founding in 1968, Berkshire-Pioneer RC&D has been involved in hundreds of projects that have enhanced the restoration, conservation and wise use of our natural resources, and contributed toward improving the local economy. Projects have ranged from local community resource problems to region-wide and statewide projects. Perhaps our greatest strengths are our ability to leverage funds and other support for the projects we undertake.
Purposes of projects have included: administering and coordinating forest stewardship activities, increasing markets for forest and agricultural products, hosting educational workshops, supporting legislation that benefits rural areas, publishing technical manuals, protecting the environment, conserving energy, preserving agricultural and forest lands, etc.
For further information about the RC&D program visit: