RC&D’s Board recognizes that its membership (consisting mostly of representatives from conservation districts, councils of government, regional planning agencies, and other nonprofit organizations) cannot adequately gauge or address the needs of the entire eastern Connecticut area on its own. As a result, an effective strategy of outreach to residents and organizations is crucial to success. As established by their policies and practices, the RC&D outreach strategy will include the following basic elements:
- Open Board Meetings: All Board Meetings of the Eastern Connecticut RC&D Council are free and open to the public. Agendas of these meetings are distributed and made available to the public. Meeting agendas, minutes, by-laws, and other updates are posted on the RC&D’s web site, as well.
- Maintaining Key Governmental Partnerships: The ongoing support provided by NRCS (through staff time and ex-officio participation) to the Council is essential to its success. As a result, NRCS staff is kept closely involved in the programs. Representatives from the State of Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and staff members from regional planning agencies and municipal government are also invited to participate in programs, committees, and planning activities, and are kept informed of RC&D progress.
- Open Committee Structure: The standing committees of the RC&D Council, with the exception of the Environmental Review Team (ERT) Committee, are designed to be open in nature. While Board members participate in all committees, their strength lies in their ability to invite input and regular participation from outside. Individual citizens, farmers, non-profit board members and staff, municipal government staff, and state and federal government staff have all contributed to these committees, and will continue to do so.
- Forging Partnerships: The Council seeks to take on very few unilateral projects. Recognizing the membership of the Board and all of its committees is a strictly voluntary activity and staff support is from the good will of NRCS, partnering on projects with other individuals and organizations is useful. On a project-by-project basis, the Council, through its committees, seeks to identify and engage key partners to maximize efforts for the overall good of Eastern Connecticut.