Healthy Soils Initiative

WCCD awarded Urban Agriculture Conservation Grant

The Worcester County Conservation District (WCCD) has been awarded $50,000 in an urban agriculture conservation grant through a partnership with the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The project named “Next Level Soil Health Initiative”, will expand WCCD’s work protecting healthy soils into urban areas by providing on-the-ground technical assistance and educational information specifically intended for urban farmers, community gardens, and backyard gardeners. Through the project, the district will provide access to the tools and research used by production agriculture adapted to help make healthy soil choices.

“Soils are an underappreciated resource,” says WCCD Chairman Joe Smith. “They play a critical role in our environment, and whether the issue is food security, climate change, or clean water, maintaining healthy, productive soils is a big part of the solution.”

WCCD was one of 20 conservation districts across 14 states to receive funding. NACD and NRCS established the Urban Agriculture Conservation Grant Initiative in 2016 to help conservation districts and their partners provide much-needed technical assistance for agricultural conservation in developed or predominantly developing areas.
Since July of 2016, NACD and NRCS have awarded three rounds of grants, totaling $4 million to 81 conservation district projects across 34 states.

Worcester County Conservation District is an unfunded agency of state government guided by an elected board of volunteer Supervisors. WCCD seeks to help local individuals, organizations and communities conserve and effectively utilize natural resources through education, technical assistance. It is a voice for the local community, providing leadership on conservation issues and establishing priorities for conservation projects.

Requests for technical assistance can be directed to Lisa Trotto, District Administrator at (508) 829-4477 x5, or Lisa.Trotto@ma.usda.gov and Kate Gervais, Soil Conservationist at (508) 829-4477 x7023 or Kate.Gervais@ma.usda.gov.

The National Association of Conservation Districts is the non-profit organization that represents the nation’s 3,000 conservation districts, their state associations and the 17,000 men and women who serve on their governing boards. For more than 70 years, local conservation districts have worked with cooperating landowners and managers of private working lands to help them plan and apply effective conservation practices. For more information about NACD, visit: www.nacdnet.org.