Environmental Conservation

The “RC” in our acronym stands for “Resource Conservation.” Resource conservation entails land preservation, soil health, water conservation, and more. In our farming and gardening education courses we encourage organic practices and educate growers about the hazards involved with common pesticides. More broadly, our work in land preservation, soil health, and water conservation help to keep Northeast Tennessee the safe, healthy, and beautiful region that it is.

The spaces below provide an overview of our work in this sector as well as our articles related to this work.

Land Preservation

The need for a regional land conservation initiative began when Appalachian RC&D Council members working in Northeast Tennessee started to notice the accelerating disappearance of farmland in the area, and the desire for many residents to take action and protect their family landholdings before it was sold and developed. The Tennessee Chapter of the Nature Conservancy and the Southern Appalachian Highland Conservancy had been active in the region for many years, but had specific missions that focused on conservation of the high mountain areas and unique and imperiled ecosystems. There was no organization working to protect the family farm.

The Appalachian RC&D Council approached the Land Trust for Tennessee to create a satellite office in Northeast Tennessee to serve land owners in Northeast Tennessee to address to disappearance of farmland and open spaces in the region. In the partnership agreement, The ARC&D staff would work on the ground with landowners and communities and raise their own operating costs, while Land Trust for Tennessee would provide the technical and legal expertise needed to complete conservation easement agreements. Read on about this project here.

Water Conservation

Natural Tunnel Stream channeling at Evergreen Baptist Church, Roan Creek, Johnson County.

Twenty years of responsible fiscal management has made us a regional go-to for administration of environmental state funds that must be implemented through a nonprofit. From 2015-2018 the ARC&D is proud to have been awarded a second “319”  grant from the Environmental Protection Agency and TN Dept. of Agriculture to continue eliminating E.Coli and nitrogen pollution problems in Roan Creek watershed of Johnson County.

Year 2014 marked the close of a five-year “319” grant on Roan Watershed, working closely with Brushy Fork Environmental Consulting. This project benefited many landowners by providing cost-share to stabilize stream banks, leading to less erosion and more filtration of sediment, nitrogen, and pollutants, and make healthier aquatic species habitat. The grant was also used to stabilize streams in advance of installing Doe Mountain’s Adventure Trails system.  We were able to repair 15 stream sites. Read on about this project here.


Envirothon is a national educational program and competition that advocates for high school students to learn about conservation and various environmental subjects. Each year, Appalachian RC&D hosts the regional competition for Environthon. The first place winner from the regional competition goes on to compete at the state level. Read about the latest competition here. 

Why Buy Local?

You’ve seen the bumper stickers, you’ve heard the pleas, you probably have a t-shirt or a tote bag that attempts to persuade you to shop locally, but what is it all for? Does your purchase really make that much of a difference? If a purchase is impactful, how and...

Appalachian RC&D to Host 26th Annual Envirothon

April 4, 2019 — Kingsport, Tennessee — Appalachian Resource Conservation & Development Council will hold the 26th Annual Envirothon on Wednesday, April 17, 2019, at Warriors Path State Park. The competition will begin at 8:45 AM and the awards presentation will...

Kingsport CSA Fair 2019

Come Out & Meet Your Farmer! 2019 Kingsport CSA Fair Where: Kingsport Farmers Market Pavilion When: March 2 | 10:00 am - 1:00 pm We're excited to bring the CSA Fair series back to the Model City in 2019! This is a wonderful way to connect with local farmers and...

Celebrating One Year of Farmers Market Promotion

Celebrating One Year of Farmers Market Promotion! Photo Credit: Laura Beth Davidson, Grand Oak Farm/Washington Co. TN Thank you to everyone involved in building community and making this first year so grand!  The ever patient and positive Appalachian RC&D team and...

National Farmers Market Week

If you have ever wondered what it would be like to live in a world where the people truly cared about each other and each others' well being, find a local farmers market. — Casey Campbell, Lindley Farms Creamery (Snow Camp, NC)   Y’all, it’s National Farmers...

Sustainable Livestock Management: Field School April 21st

Sustainable Livestock Management: Field School April 21st

On Saturday, April 21st, Field School was held at John Abe Teague’s Farm in Telford. The topic of this session was Sustainable Livestock Management, with a focus on rotational grazing systems. Rotational grazing is an intensive pasture management system that rotates...

National Volunteer Week: Katelyn Cox

National Volunteer Week: Katelyn Cox

Volunteers make the world go 'round and they make the ARC&D go 'round too. This week is National Volunteer Week. Just last year year alone we tracked 1,500 hours of volunteer time. Much of this was for the Quilt Trail painters and coordinators in downtown...