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News Release

NRCS Awards Urban and Rural Conservation Grants throughout Texas

Bertha Venegas

Temple, Oct. 6, 2020 – The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Texas is providing more than $175,000 in grants through the Texas Urban and Rural Conservation Projects (TURCP) and $112,000 through the Project Growing Roots for Education, Environment, and Nutrition (G.R.E.E.N.) to organizations, schools and institutions of higher education.

The 31 TURCP and Project G.R.E.E.N. projects address the challenges communities face in making fresh food accessible to everyone.  The program was created as a grassroots endeavor to encourage local organizations to develop strategies to increase the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables and teach urban and rural conservation education through hands-on experiences. 

According to Feeding America, 1 in 8 Americans struggle with hunger. The coronavirus pandemic has left millions of families without stable employment. More than 54 million people, including 18 million children, may experience food insecurity in 2020. Food insecurity exists in every county in America. Millions of people are still struggling to get by because of underemployment, stagnant wages, rising costs of living, and lack of grocery stores causing food deserts in both urban and rural areas.

To address food deserts and educate urban  and rural citizens and youth on the benefits of locally grown fresh produce and greening of the urban and rural landscape, NRCS awarded competitive grants to establish community and pollinator gardens, construct high tunnel systems and rainwater harvesting systems through the Texas NRCS TURCP and Project G.R.E.E.N. Grants are available up to $4,000 for a community garden, $3,000 for pollinator gardens, $6,500 for a high tunnel and $5,000 for a rainwater harvesting system. 

Schools/High Education Institutions awarded through Project G.R.E.E.N.:  

  • Alamo Community College District – Palo Alto College, San Antonio
  • Alamo Community College District – Northeast Lakeview College, San Antonio
  • Baylor University, Waco
  • Cisco Independent School District, Cisco
  • IDEA Public School – Edgemere, El Paso
  • Northside Independent School District, San Antonio
  • Roma Independent School District, Roma
  • St. Mary’s Academy Charter School, Beeville
  • Texas A & M AgriLife Extension Service, Dallas
  • Texas A & M AgriLife Extension Service, Harris County, Houston
  • University of Texas at Dallas
  • Yes Prep Public Schools, Inc., Houston

Organizations awarded through TURCP:

  • Citizens Development Center Inc., Dallas
  • City of San Diego
  • City of San Marcos
  • Food Policy Council of San Antonio, Inc.
  • Fort Bend County Master Gardeners, Inc.
  • Galveston Bay Foundation, Inc., Kemah
  • Galveston’s Own Farmers Market (GOFM) - Morgan Elementary
  • Galveston’s Own Farmers Market (GOFM) - Young Gardeners Program
  • Girl Scouts Northeast Texas, Dallas
  • Heart of Texas Urban Garden Coalition Inc., Waco
  • Landowners Association of Texas, Inc., Houston
  • Landowners Association of Texas, Inc., Waller County
  • Plant It Forward, Houston
  • Planty for the People, El Paso
  • Recipe for Success, Houston
  • Rio Grande International Study Center, Inc., Laredo
  • Taking Care of Texas, Leon County
  • Westbury Area Improvement, Houston
  • World Hunger Relief, Inc., Waco

“Last year, this grant proved to be a huge success seeing functioning gardens, high tunnels, pollinator gardens and rainwater harvesting systems that assisted local organizations to address issues with food deserts, declining pollinator habitat and improving water conservation,” said Clint Evans, acting state conservationist for Texas NRCS. “The NRCS continues to promote urban and rural conservation with the continuation of these projects for a third year.” 

NRCS is a federal agency that works hand-in-hand with the people of Texas to improve and protect their soil, water and other natural resources for improving agricultural production to feed and clothe a growing population. For more information on the TURCP and Project G.R.E.E.N., please visit the Texas NRCS webpage. Notices for future grant opportunities will be available at