Funding available for Texas Urban and Rural Conservation Projects

There are areas of the U.S. that do not have easy access to affordable, fresh foods that make up a healthy diet. These areas are considered food deserts. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA NRCS) is accepting applications to establish gardens, rainwater harvesting systems and seasonal high tunnels through the Texas NRCS Urban and Rural Conservation Projects.

These projects will help establish gardens to grow produce in areas of need and to educate urban and rural youth, organizations and communities about the importance of conservation, urban agriculture and growing healthy fresh vegetables.

The Texas NRCS Urban and Rural Conservation Project will provide technical and financial assistance to eligible entities to establish or improve gardens for food production, for attracting and maintaining pollinator habitat including monarch butterflies, to install rainwater harvesting systems and to establish high tunnels to extend the growing season of fruits and vegetables.

The Texas NRCS Urban and Rural Conservation Project is an effort to challenge community organizations, educational institutions and Native American tribes to establish community and school gardens across Texas. Pollinator habitat planted with urban gardens can provide an increase in harvest potential while providing food and habitat for declining insect communities in Texas.

“The simple act of planning a garden can help unite neighbors in a common effort and inspire locally-led solutions to challenges facing our state,” Salvador Salinas, Texas NRCS state conservationist, said. “These challenges can be addressed with locally-led diverse solutions in urban and rural settings.”

Grants are available up to $4,000 for a vegetable garden, $3,000 for a pollinator garden, $5,000 for a rainwater harvesting system and $6,500 for a seasonal high tunnel.

Applications for the Urban and Rural Conservation Project are due by June 7.

Questions can be directed to Bertha T. Venegas at or (830) 249-3508 ext. 103.

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