A couple of the panelists from Rural Development Leadership Network was from Tennessee and provided information in regard to the organization that they were representing. Being from the Northeast I am not too familiar about states such as Tennessee so hearing Marie Cirillo and Carol Judy from Clearfork Community Institute talk was new and interesting to me. They provided background information about their non-profit organization and what they have been doing and the issue that they face. They offer support to families in the coal mining community which is located in the rural Appalachia area. Some of the things that they have done is purchase and hold lands for local residents who might otherwise be landless. The reason why Clearfork started was because a lot of corporations out of state and out of country purchase land in that region and families did not have places to live. The institute is a place that teach those that do not know how to preserve the natural beauty of the mountains, they raise awareness and provide the necessary help. The United States is known for being industrialized and these ladies wanted to remind people how important Mother Nature is and preserving the world. They mentioned the importance of our natural resources since “people need a certain amount of water, air, and energy (food)”. I agree with them and as global warming is becoming a greater issue people are beginning to Go Green in hopes that are natural resources do not diminish.
Photo: Panelists from Clearfork