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.
Success of the program is directly related to the interest and dedication of the appointed council members. The council establishes goals, objectives, and policies for the RC&D program.
Trailblazer R C & D serves 8 parishes: Bienville, Claiborne, Jackson, Lincoln, Union, Webster, and Winn.
Donations, loans, grants, special events and other fund raising activities are essential to meet goals.
This is accomplished by encouraging local leadership and innovative thinking. Needs are continually being recognized or brought to the attention of the Board of Directors by other community leaders.
We Are Not:
A federal agency.
Our Current Projects
Entrepreneurial Training Program
At the current time, Trailblazer is focusing on helping community members who would like to learn how to start a new business. We have a fully-funded program that allows us to provide Entrepreneurial Training (ENT) workshops to community members free of charge! In these ENT workshops, participants learn how to create a business plan, how to get ready to apply for a business loan, how to fill out the necessary tax and licensing paperwork, and a great deal more.
Water Quality Education
Trailblazer is also currently offering an important service to our communities with our Water Quality program. Olivia Ward, Trailblazer’s staff biologist, serves as both educator and community planning consultant, speaking often to local groups about water quality issues, and also offering water quality analysis and improvement planning.
Featured Speakers: Whitetail Deer Management expert, David Moreland
- Most recently, David Moreland, a 31-year veteran of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, spoke to a Trailblazer audience about deer management.
The Big Event
- As part of the USDA Outreach to the underserved, Trailblazer has sponsored The Big Event annually at Grambling University to offer often-underserved community members educational materials, speakers, and connections to services they might not be aware are available to them. Our Entrepreneurial Training continues to serve these community members, along with the entire community, throughout the year.
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