WALPOLE, N.H. — Today, the Cheshire County Conservation District (CCCD) announced it was awarded an urban agriculture conservation grant through a partnership with the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to boost technical capacity nationwide.
The CCCD will work in partnership with Antioch University New England’s Community Garden Connections (CGC), the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), and the Keene Public Library within the city Keene, NH to offer technical assistance, education and equipment to urban farmers and gardeners for growing their production capacity while conserving natural resources such as soil health, water quality and pollinator habitat. Project goals include:
- A workshop series focused on soil health, water quality, and pollinator habitat for backyard gardeners and urban farmers (10 workshops in 2019)
- One-on-one technical assistance & educational support
- Establishment of a garden tools lending library and seed bank at the Keene Public Library
- Utilization of CGC’s Westmoreland demonstration garden plot for hands on learning and exploration of a new garden plot at the Keene Public Library
The CCCD was one of 20 conservation districts across 14 states to receive funding. NACD and NRCS established the Urban Agriculture Conservation Grant Initiative in 2016 to help conservation districts and their partners provide much-needed technical assistance for agricultural conservation in developed or predominantly developing areas. Since July of 2016, NACD and NRCS have awarded three rounds of grants, totaling $4 million to 81 conservation district projects across 34 states.
“As Americans move to urban areas, conservation districts are adapting, with a majority of today’s conservation districts now providing urban technical assistance,” NACD President Brent Van Dyke said. “We are proud to offer support to bolster their work to improve our nation’s natural resources.”
“Every acre counts when it com*es to the conservation puzzle, whether it’s on farmland or a vacant lot,” Van Dyke said. “Conservation districts have worked to create opportunities to better assist landowners regardless of landscape, and this year’s awards will help engage communities to become more involved as stewards of their land.”
Read the district’s project description, as well as the other awardees’ project descriptions, on the NACD’s 2019 Urban Agriculture Conservation Grant Recipients webpage.
If you’d like to receive updates from the CCCD regarding the progress project and schedule of workshops, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to join their mailing list.
–Cheshire County Conservation District
For more articles out of New England, click here.