The Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District (Soil & Water) has announced it has been 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.
Warren County Soil & Water was one of 21 conservation districts across 13 states to receive funding. NACD and NRCS established the Urban Agriculture Conservation Grant Initiative in 2016 to help conservation districts and their partners provide technical assistance for agricultural conservation in developed or predominantly developing areas.
Warren County Soil & Water is partnering with Warrensburg Community Gardens to construct raised beds to demonstrate soil health best management practices (BMPs) throughout the growing season, as well as installing a hedgerow for beneficial insects, runoff control and windbreak.
Soil & Water will host two workshops covering the benefits of soil health BMPs including no-till, cover crops, crop rotation, mulching, and nutrient management. The workshops will encourage community members to grow local produce with soil health practices and learn about bringing in beneficial insects while utilizing the community garden composting area.
The grant program will work with current and future farmers to help demonstrate the value in adopting conservation practices that generate higher yields and reduce maintenance hours while promoting natural resource conservation efforts in the Upper Hudson River Watershed.
NACD and NRCS have issued grants in 2016, 2017 and 2019, and have awarded more than $5 million in funding for 102 grants across 34 states. This round of funding marks the first year where previous grant recipients were eligible to apply for funding for new projects.
More information about the conservation district’s project, as well as the other awardees’ project descriptions, is available on NACD’s 2020 Urban Agriculture Conservation Grant Recipients webpage.
Photo of Warrensburg Community Garden by Nick Rowell of Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District (provided).