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Urban Conservation

Urban Agriculture Header GraphicThrough the years traditionally larger farm areas have given way to subdivisions, malls, schools and even entire towns. In addition to long established inner city areas, these previously rural areas have now become highly productive urban agricultural areas. These urban farms can be found nestled in between residential and commercial developments that might go un-noticed to some neighbors. In many cases these farms are partnering with the USDA, their local school systems and other community based organizations to teach others about sustainable agriculture. By incorporating sound conservation principles, these small acreage farms are playing a large role by producing fruit and vegetable crops as well as livestock ranging from cattle, to horses, to goats in a way that is in harmony with the land in their communities.

The resource concerns of an urban landscape differ from those of a rural landscape. Urban agriculture is showcase in the Atlanta landscape.The impervious rooftops, roads, parking lots, and compacted areas or urban landscapes increase surface runoff; delivering sediment, nutrients, hydrocarbons and other pollutants to receiving bodies of water. Urban landscapes often experience greater populations of invasive species and weeds that increase the potential of damaging wildfire.

Today the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is helping these urban producers to feed their communities through financial and technical assistance. Funding is provided by the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) -- a Farm Bill program that allows NRCS to reimburse producers for a portion of the expense.

Conservation Technical Assistance

Environmental Quality Incentives Program

Urban Conservation (Plant Materials Program)

USDA National Agricultural Library

Urban Agriculture Photo Gallery

This video highlights urban conservation and agricultural efforts in metropolitan areas of Georgia.