Today, the Eastern Rhode Island Conservation District (ERICD) announced it was awarded 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) to boost technical capacity nationwide.

With the funding, ERICD will install a pollinator garden at the Portsmouth AgInnovation Farm, located at Cloverbud Ranch in Portsmouth. Future on-site program activities include workshops, nutrition education with community partners, ‘Pollinator Month’ activities, educational signage, and trail walks. Sara Churgin, ERICD District Manager said, “The project will promote native pollinator conservation in a rural environment by teaching the importance of pollinators, engaging citizen scientists, and addressing food insecurity and health outcomes for under-served communities.”

ERICD 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 community-oriented agricultural projects in both urban and rural contexts.  

This is the fifth round of funding awarded by NACD and NRCS, with grants totaling $5.6 million for 122 projects across 35 states.

“The Urban Agriculture Conservation grants provide opportunities for conservation districts to continue their great work in new and different ways,” NACD President Michael Crowder said. “The projects we’re announcing today will help conservation districts reach new audiences and build new programs to provide technical assistance in a variety of community-oriented settings.”

See the full list of 2021 grantees on NACD’s 2021 Urban Agriculture Conservation Grant Recipients webpage, and read more about past grantees on NACD’s Urban Agriculture Conservation Grant Initiative Story Map.

For more information on ERICD, visit www.easternriconservation.org or search Eastern Rhode Island Conservation District on Facebook. To be added to ERICD’s email list or for questions, please contact schurgin.ericd@gmail.com

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.

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