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Texas Rural Conservation Projects

NRCS Texas Urban and Rural Conservation Project

Texas Urban and Rural Conservation Project

The Texas NRCS Urban and Rural Conservation Project (TURCP) was created in an effort to challenge community organizations, educational institutions and Indian tribes, to focus on local grassroots conservation efforts for the betterment of people and the environment. This project will allow hunger to be addressed in areas where local, fresh, and nutritious foods are not available addressing these food deserts on multiple levels.

Technical and financial assistance is provided to eligible entities to establish or improve gardens for food production, rainwater harvesting systems, pollinator habitat for attracting and maintaining monarch butterflies and the establishment of high tunnels to extend the growing season of fruits and vegetables.

The Texas Urban and Rural Conservation Project grants are available to states, political subdivisions, or agency thereof, a public or private agency, organizations, and federally recognized Native American tribal governments.

Project G.R.E.E.N. (Growing Roots for Education, Environment and Nutrition) grants are available only to elementary, middle and high schools or school districts, both public and private and educational institutions that include only junior and community colleges or universities.

The grants have four components –community gardens, pollinator habitat, high tunnels and rainwater harvesting systems. Applicants can apply for one, two, three or all four components of the grant in one application.

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Community Gardens

Community gardens are plots of land, that can be in rural or urban areas, that are rented or owned by individuals or groups for gardens or are for the benefit of the people caring for the garden. The simple act of planting a garden can help unite neighbors in a common effort and inspire locally led solutions to challenges facing our state.  Grants up to $4,000 are available for community gardens.  The funds are to be utilized for garden supplies which can include tools, seeds, plants, fertilizer, soil additives, irrigation materials and other garden materials.

Pollinator Gardens

Pollinators are a crucial part of healthy agricultural and natural landscapes. Pollinator habitat can provide an increase in harvest potential while providing food and habitat for declining insect communities in Texas.  Improving existing and providing new habitat for pollinators has become a major focus for NRCS.  Grants up to $3,000 are available to establish pollinator habitat.

High Tunnels

High tunnels for crops are quickly becoming part of the agricultural production landscape. High tunnels are an enclosed polyethylene, polycarbonate, plastic, or fabric covered structure that is used to cover and protect crops from sun, wind, excessive rainfall, or cold and can extend a growing season in an environmentally safe manner. Grants up to $6,500 are available to construct a high tunnel. NRCS standards and specifications must be followed when constructing a high tunnel.

Rainwater Harvesting Systems

Rainwater harvesting is collecting the run-off from a structure or other impervious surface in order to store it for later use. Rainwater collection systems are as simple as collecting rain in a rain barrel. Grants up to $5,000 are available to establish a rainwater harvesting system for a new or existing garden.

A total of 22 entities were awarded funding for urban projects and 9 for rural projects. The following link will take you to those projects that received funding in 2019:

2019 Urban and Rural Conservation Projects

In 2018, NRCS awarded 21 entities funding for 26 projects. The following link will take you to those projects that received funding:

2018 Urban Conservation Projects

Application Information

The fiscal year 2020 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NFO) announcement that closed May 29,2020. Announcements for future funding will be posted at grants.gov.

Grant Opportunities

Contact

Bertha Venegas, State Outreach Specialist
830-249-3508 Ext 103