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News Release

NRCS Announces Urban Conservation Grants throughout Texas

Contact:
Bertha Venegas, State Outreach Coordinator
(830) 249-3508


Temple, TexasApril 10, 2018 — The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Texas announces more than $149,000 awarded to partners with grants through the Urban Conservation Project to 21 organizations for 26 projects total.

To address food deserts and educate urban citizens and youth on the benefits of locally grown fresh produce and greening of the urban landscape, NRCS awarded competitive grants to establish community and pollinator gardens, as well as construct high tunnel systems through the Texas NRCS Urban Conservation Project.

The NRCS Texas Urban Conservation Project is an effort to challenge community organizations, educational institutions and Indian tribes to focus their efforts on urban conservation through projects involving the establishment of community and pollinator gardens and the construction of seasonal high tunnels across Texas.  Addressing hunger with an urban garden can bring communities together and initiate other positive outcomes for people.  The construction of high tunnel systems help improve plant health and vigor, maintains and improves soil health and extends the growing season.  Pollinator habitat planned with urban gardens can provide an increase of harvest potential for these insects while providing food and habitat for declining communities in Texas.

Community Garden Grants

Through this Texas Urban Conservation Project, grants were available up to $4,000 for a community garden and $6,500 for a high tunnel.  Community gardens and high tunnel projects had to be in one of the following counties that have been identified as food desert areas: Bexar, Brazos, Cameron, Dallas, El Paso, Galveston, Harris, Hidalgo, Jefferson, Lubbock, Maverick, McLennan, Nueces, Polk, Potter, Tarrant, Travis, Webb and Wichita to be eligible for funding.

Monarch Butterfly Garden Grants

Grants were available for up to $3,000 for Monarch butterfly gardens.  Preference was given to Monarch butterfly gardens in the following counties because of their strategic location within the Monarch butterfly’s flight paths during their spring and fall migrations:  Atascosa, Bastrop, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Comal, Dallas, Ellis, Gillespie, Guadalupe, Hays, Johnson, Kaufman, Kendall, Kerr, Lee, Limestone, Llano, Navarro, McLennan, Palo Pinto, Parker, Tarrant, Travis, Williamson, and Wilson.

Those organizations awarded include:  San Antonio College at Tobin Hill, Eco Centro and Victory Center, Palo Alto College, Auburn University, Laredo Community College, Bastrop Soil and Water Conservation District, Bexar Land Trust, San Antonio River Foundation, Texas Southern University, Austin Community College campuses at Round Rock, Eastview, Elgin, and Hays, Northside ISD, Our Lady of the Lake University, YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth, Dallas County Hospital District, Hope for Small Farm Sustainability, Central Texas Food Bank, Galveston’s Own Farmers Market, Girl Scouts of North East Texas, Blanco ISD- Blanco Middle School, Logan Elementary School, Smithville Food Pantry and the Gleaning Network of Texas.

For more information on the Texas Urban Conservation Project, please visit the webpage below. https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/tx/newsroom/pnotice. Notices for future grant opportunities will be available at grants.gov at https://www.grants.gov