Published On: Thu, Sep 26th, 2013

RC&D celebrates 20 years

RC&D & Col Carvers 004

PLAINVIEW — The Northeast Nebraska RC&D (Resource, Conservation & Development) is celebrating twenty years of connecting people to resources.

An Open House was held in Plainview on Sunday to celebrate the 20th Anniversary for the organization that serves Knox, Antelope, Cedar, Dixon,  Pierce and Wayne counties with programs and projects in conservation and development.

Cowboy poet R.P. Smith entertained the visitors at the Open House with his poetry and humor. Smith’s work is inspired by his family, faith in God and every-day-life on his ranch in Custer County.

Plainview’s Klown Band provided some lively music selections. Dance groups and other local individuals also preformed during the afternoon event.

Four junior students from Niobrara explained how a project, which helps control a noxious weed, has earned national awards and has grown into a legacy for the Niobrara High School. The students raise Galerucella beetles and then distribute the bugs on wetlands where the bugs eat purple loosestrife, an invasive plant.

Coordinator/volunteer Jan Jorgensen was thanked for all of the “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” work she does for the RC&D.

RC&D President Dennis Wacker presented Jorgensen the Mary Poppins Award, which included an umbrella, kite, hat and a carpet bag during the RC&D Open House Sept. 22.

The RC&D has been able to overcome the devastating news in 2011 that they would be losing over $100,000 in federal funds.

Local contributions, assistance and volunteer work have continued for the RD&D.

Many of the projects and activities that are implemented by RC&D are funded by grants that are received along with fees that are collected from the participants.

The RC&D staff offers grant writing assistance and has knowledge of available grants.

“We are here to stay,” said Dick Haskins, Royal.

This past year proved successful for the RC&D as the organization continued to assist with a variety of projects.

An Educational Water Tour is coming up on October 3rd. The motor coach tour will include the Wau-Col Regional Water System along with a stop at Ponca State Park.

The Wau-Col Water system provides safe, high quality water that goes across three county lines – Cedar, Knox and Pierce.

Water purchased from the Village of Coleridge is sent to Belden; the water that is being purchased from Wausa flows to Magnet and McLean and to several rural customers.

RC&D Council hosted Household Hazardous Waste collection events this year.   Citizens came from all around to properly dispose of items they knew should not go into the landfill.

RC&D sponsored five Electronic Waste Recycling events. Close to 13,000 pounds of outdated computers, TVs, microwaves and other equipment were collected. The items were all broke down into re-usable materials.

Oil collection sites, which were established a few years ago, are still available in several counties.

Noxious Weed Workshop was held in Aug. Methods of noxious weed control in pastures, fields and in wildlife habitat sites were discussed.

During the summer a Bee Friendly Field Tour was held at Dennis Wacker’s Prairie’s Edge Organic Farm which is located in the Plainview area.

Participants learned how bees are losing their habitat as non-cropland is very important for bees.

A beekeeper explained the process bees use to make honey and told how one bee brings in only 1/10th of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.

Information was provided on wildflowers and grasses that are excellent for bees as well as butterflies.

Pick up this week’s issue of the Wausa Gazette to read more!