Creating vibrant communities through rural economic development and natural resource conservation.

How Can Pathfinders RC&D Help You?

Pathfinders RC&D is a non-profit organization that works with local citizens to develop and implement projects and programs to improve quality of life through natural resource conservation and community development.

Pathfinders projects and programs are all tied to rural economic development and/or natural resource conservation. Our current activities relate to local food, small business development, abandoned strip mine land reclamation, watershed protection, trail formation and tourism development.

Pathfinders’ ongoing services include a full service forestry program, small business loan program, fiscal agent services, grant writing and grant administration. Contact our office to learn more!

How Does RC&D Work?

Resource Conservation and Development, or RC&D, is a local nonprofit organization led by local community leaders. RC&D is rooted in therooted in the concept that local people know what their communities need and can create solutions that work. There are 9 RC&D areas in Iowa and 375 RC&D areas across the United States and its territories.

The Background Story

The RC&D movement started in the 1960’s to address rural poverty and help rural communities generate sustainable natural resource-based economies.  Although today many RC&D Areas are not rural and are not poor, the need for the RC&D concept is just as strong. 

RC&D is collaborative, multi-leveled, action-oriented, and inclusive.  And, sometimes, “RC&D” is difficult to explain and difficult to quantify. However, the effect of the RC&D approach to solving community problems involving local people in voluntary, empowering ways can be felt with almost every RC&D project that happens in Iowa, or across the country.

Read an overview about the Pathfinders organization.

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Past issues of E-News


NEW! SWCD Summer Internship Opportunities
Applications due February 19, 2016
Internship announcment

Application form

NEW! 4th Annual Southern Iowa Grazing Conference
Friday, February 12 and Saturday, February 13
Mutchler Community Center
Learn more

NEW! Pathfinders 2015 Overview

View document (3 MB)

SIDCA FY15 Annual Report

View report

Pathfinders RC&D Board Meeting
*No meeting in January
Monday, February 8
6:00 PM
Pathfinders RC&D Office
Grant Received to Establish Monarch Habitat

Pathfinders RC&D was awarded a $227,400 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The project is titled "Collaborating Within the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship to Establish Monarch Habitat on Marginal, Private Lands." 

New Partnership with U of I

Iowa's 9 regional RC&D councils have embarked on a new initiative to connect University of Iowa resources with the RC&D's to assist rural Iowa communities with community development efforts.


Grass Fed Beef Producer Website

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