Steve Roark, Clinch-Powell Board Member

Steve Roark has served on Clinch-Powell’s Board of Directors for 10 years, but he has been partnering with us since our early days. In 1989 Clinch-Powell developed an annual conservation education program called Conservation Camp which ran for more than 20 years. The program educated 6th grade students in East Tennessee about the importance of protecting natural resources. The success of this endeavor was contributed largely to the volunteer efforts of professionals from various aspects of natural resource conservation fields. Steve was a Tennessee State Forester at that time and led the section of the camp that taught about responsible harvesting of forested lands. Later he assisted with Envirothon, a program for high school students designed to cultivate a desire to learn more about our natural environment through competitive events. He had this to say about his experience, “Conservation Camp was an amazing construct to have 20 plus natural resource agencies and organizations come together and share their knowledge and passion with kids from five counties. I learned early in my career that to grow healthy and productive future forests, you need to grow future landowners that will be pro-active good stewards. Conservation Camp and Envirothon were both great platforms to get that done.” These programs are what attracted Steve to Clinch-Powell’s mission and led him to initially volunteer with Clinch-Powell, but he has continued to serve Clinch-Powell over the past 30 years because he believes in our ongoing mission. “Clinch Powell has been involved with two arenas that are important to me: helping landowners conserve our natural resources through grants and education, and assisting those in our region that need economic help, be it affordable housing, business loans, or job creation through AmeriCorps and River Place. Being on the board is an opportunity to support these endeavors and also put personal skill sets and passions to use. I’ve been involved with developing hiking trails and bicycle routes at River Place and developing public access sites for both the Clinch and Powell Rivers. We all need a worthy cause to make life fulfilling, and Clinch-Powell has allowed me to pursue several”, he says. Steve believes that Clinch-Powell’s work is enriching local communities and individuals through multiple approaches: jobs, housing, education, resource conservation, recreation, tourism. He says, “Our area is a beautiful place, but economically depressed. I appreciate CP's approach to enhance both.”