Clinch-Powell Resource Conservation and Development Council, Inc. (Clinch-Powell RC&D) celebrated its 25th anniversary recently at The Bryan House, its main office in Rutledge.

Several elected officials were on hand to celebrate the organization’s achievements, including Sen. Lamar Alexander, U.S. Rep. John Duncan and Rep. Dennis Roach. Representatives from state agencies such as the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency, Tennessee Housing Development Agency, United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service and the State Attorney General’s office were also present.

Lindy Turner, executive director for Clinch-Powell RC&D, told the crowd about the organization’s many accomplishments, one of which is that Clinch-Powell has accessed and distributed $198 million for its seven-county service area over these 25 years. Beginning primarily as a resource conservation and development agency, Clinch-Powell has become a major player to impact the seven counties it serves, including Hawkins, Hancock, Hamblen, Claiborne, Grainger, Union and Jefferson.

Clinch-Powell developed the quilt trails in Tennessee, Turner said, and the organization is the state’s largest provider of AmeriCorp workers.

Through the housing program they have saved 1,100 homeowners from losing their homes, Turner said. Clinch-Powell has built 28 homes, owns 36 homes that rent to lower income families and have provided 15 home repair loans to homeowners or agencies. They are developing three subdivisions and developed River Place on the Clinch, which has brought life back to Kyles Ford, Tennessee.

Clinch-Powell has also provided fire equipment and fire trucks to fire departments or taught them to write their own grants for equipment. These are just a few of the many initiatives undertaken by the organization.

Former Governor Lamar Alexander was instrumental in pushing through legislation to develop the Clinch-Powell RC&D, and former Governor Ned McWherter during his term insured funding continued to develop this much-needed agency in the Appalachian area of the state.