Albany, GA, July 22, 2016 – The Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) was awarded $50,000 to build technical assistance capacity for urban agriculture conservation projects on Sunday, July 17, by the National Association of Conservation Districts. NACD granted a total of $2 million to Flint River SWCD and 41 other districts across 25 states.
“I’d like to congratulate these conservation districts on their outstanding leadership and continued commitment to improving and protecting our natural resources on urban landscapes,” NACD President Lee McDaniel said. “NACD is exceedingly proud of these districts’ work to strengthen agriculture conservation efforts in communities that are typically underserved, and in many cases, considered food deserts.”
The Flint River SWCD submitted a proposal earlier this summer to NACD’s Urban Agriculture Conservation Grant Initiative. The initiative, in partnership with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, aims to increase and stabilize technical assistance capacity where the land is predominantly urban or urbanizing. The 2016 urban grants announced Sunday will allow districts to help urban farmers, community gardens, and other local agricultural partnerships implement conservation practices that support local food production, provide opportunities for education and stewardship, and protect natural resources.
“NACD is proud to award and support these districts for embracing the opportunity and responsibility that comes with expanding our support of locally-led conservation,” McDaniel said. “Our ability to put conservation on the ground is growing every day, and projects like these make all the difference.”
The Flint River SWCD’s objectives for this project are to provide technical assistance and educational resources for small and urban farmers, to enhance natural resource planning and management related to urban agriculture and urban communities, to expand access to local food with a focus on underserved, low-access areas, and to educate local community citizens and students on conservation and agriculture. The geographic focus will initially be in Albany, Georgia with plans to expand to other local communities in the future.