July 12, 2004 The St. Croix-based V.I. Resource Conservation and Development Council this week joins its 375 counterparts around the nation to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the nonprofit organization's founding.
To celebrate, the Council will hold open houses in both St. Thomas and St. Croix. In St. Thomas, staff will be on hand from 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday at the University of the Virgin Islands cafeteria. In St. Croix, staff will hold an open house from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday at its office in the Merrill Lynch Building in Gallows Bay. Refreshments will be served.
Julie Wright, who serves as the council's coordinator, said the local council formed in 1990. She said that the U.S. Congress got the ball rolling in 1964 when it declared 10 areas on the mainland as Research Conservation and Development Areas.
The councils' aims are to determine community needs and create solutions to meet those needs.
"The seminars are one thing we do," Wright said, referring to a Project Design and Evaluation short course to be held at the end of July.
Wright said that the local council works in sustainable agriculture, cultural and natural resource conservation, community development, infrastructure development, economic development, and council effectiveness.
The Council comes under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Its $1.1 million a year budget comes mainly from federal and local grants.
It has two employees Wright and program assistant Faye Williams.
A 38-member council made up of people from across the territory governs its operations.
Wright said the organization is not well known to the Virgin Islands public, a situation she is trying to remedy by holding the open house.
"We need to raise the level of awareness," she said.
To learn more about the organization, visit its website at – www.usvircd.org.
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