What We Stand For
The Trailblazer R C & D is a locally sponsored and directed organization that provides assistance to the citizens of an eight-parish area located in North Central Louisiana. The purpose of Trailblazer is to improve the quality of life in local communities. It is a non-profit organization and is tax exempt (501c3) according to the Internal Revenue Service. Donations, loans, grants, special events, and other fund raising activities are essential to meet goals.
The eight Trailblazer parishes located in North Central Louisiana encompass approximately 5,870 square miles. This includes 2,837,500 acres of forestland, 50,300 acres of cropland, 360,200 acres of pastureland, 92,500 acres of water, and 108,400 acres of build-up areas.
Trailblazer is a participant in the USDA’s Resource Conservation and Development (R C & D) Program. R C & D was created by a provision of the Food and Agriculture Act of 1962. The R C & D Program is based on the assumption that local citizens can develop and carry out an action-oriented plan for the social, economic, and environmental enrichment of their communities. USDA provides assistance as needed to help facilitate the Council’s goals and objectives.
Although R C & D is a program of the USDA, Trailblazer is not a federal or state agency but consists of volunteers who are appointed by sponsoring agencies to serve as the governing council. Success of the R C & D program is directly related to the interest and dedication of the appointed council members. The Council establishes goals, objectives, and policies for the R C & D program in its area by organizing an Area Plan of Work.
Trailblazer leadership is challenged to develop quality projects that meet the needs of area residents. This is accomplished by encouraging local leadership and innovative thinking. Projects are carefully selected with emphasis on projects not being addressed by other groups.
You are our most important partner. We depend on the generosity of community volunteers in giving of their time and money to keep our programs going. If you would like to help, call us at (318) 255-3554 or fill out a volunteer or donation form, found in our Media Center on the Home page.
The National Association of R C & Ds
- Trailblazer R C & D is one of many nonprofit organizations committed to serving their communities. Check out the website of the national organization here:
The Bistineau Task Force
- Trailblazer was instrumental in the establishment of the BTF and is committed to helping this important local nonprofit service the community. The BTF has a page on this website, found on the main menu of the Home page. There is a BTF photo album in the Photo Albums menu tab, also found on the Home page.
The Parish Police Juries
- The police juries in each of our eight-parish service areas are crucial to our success. Their websites can be accessed through the links found on our Who We Serve Page.
March 29, 2012:
Trailblazer receives Circle of Diamonds
Tier 2 recognition
Circle of Diamonds is an elite recognition of nonprofit R C & Ds for adhering to high standards of governance, personnel, financial management, and administration.
Trailblazer is one of only 25 of the 375 R C & Ds to have qualified for this enhanced membership.
The Trailblazer R C & D area was first organized in October 1966 as the Bossier-Webster R C & D project. In February 1969, it was expanded to include Bienville and Claiborne parishes and was renamed the Trailblazer-4 R C & D area. In December 1974, Lincoln parish was approved for inclusion into the area, and the name was shortened to Trailblazer. In April 1983, Union parish was added as the sixth parish. The Trailblazer area was expanded again to include Jackson and Winn parishes in August 1989.
In February 1988, key community leaders participated in a Problem Identification Workshop. The participants were asked to identify major problems and issues that should be addressed by Trailblazer. The Council adopted improving rural fire protection and increasing employment opportunities as priority objectives.
Needs are continually being recognized or brought to the attention of the Board of Directors by other community leaders. As these needs are identified, projects are considered for approval based on four criteria:
- Firmly established objectives
- Interest and involvement of the Board
- Interest and support of other groups
- Funding and staffing demands.
Twenty-five years of service
- As much as 10 tons of paper collected each month
- Over 3,500 dry hydrants installed, insurance rates lowered, and homes and lives protected.
- Still very active, recently donating airboat to help fight Lake Bistineau's Giant Salvinia
- Rural homeowners offered wildfire prevention recommendations
- Various projects increased awareness of the declining aquifer.
- Teaching others to develop quality projects and seek funding for them