The Keene Public Library is pleased to announce their participation in the Cheshire County Conservation District Urban Agriculture Conservation Grant, which has been funded 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. Local partners include Antioch University New England’s Community Garden Connections (CGC), the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), and the Keene Public Library.
The grant project will provide 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 Community Garden Connections' Westmoreland demonstration garden plot for hands-on learning and exploration of a new garden plot at the Keene Public Library.
The Cheshire County Conservation District 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 comes 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.
About the NACD
The National Association of Conservation Districts is the non-profit organization that represents the nation’s 3,000 conservation districts, their state associations and the 17,000 men and women who serve on their governing boards. For more than 70 years, local conservation districts have worked with cooperating landowners and managers of private working lands to help them plan and apply effective conservation practices. For more information about NACD, visit www.nacdnet.org.
About the CCCD
The Cheshire County Conservation District promotes the conservation and responsible use of our natural and agricultural resources for the people of Cheshire County by providing technical, financial, and educational assistance. Our goal is to encourage the stewardship of healthy soils, productive ecologically sound farms, diverse wildlife, productive sustainable forests, healthy watersheds, and clean water to ensure those resources are available for future generations. Established in 1945, the Conservation District operates out of Walpole NH where we work alongside the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and other conservation partners. For more information, contact the Conservation District at 603-756-2988 .