The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting grant applications until May 29, 2020, to establish gardens, rainwater harvesting systems and high tunnels through Project G.R.E.E.N. (Growing Roots for Education, Environment and Nutrition) and through the Texas NRCS Urban and Rural Conservation Project.

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

The Texas Urban and Rural Conservation Project will provide technical and financial assistance to eligible entities to establish or improve gardens for food production and pollinator habitat, including habitat for monarch butterflies, to install rainwater harvesting systems, and to establish high tunnels to extend the growing season for fruits and vegetables. These grants are available to entities other than schools.

Project G.R.E.E.N. (Growing Roots for Education, Environment and Nutrition) grants are available only to independent, private, public and state controlled school districts, and private, public and state controlled institutions of higher education.

The grants have four components–community gardens, pollinator habitat, high tunnels and rainwater harvesting systems. Applicants can apply for one, two, three or all four components of the grant in one application.

“Even in today’s modern world, there are areas of the U.S. that don’t have easy access to affordable, fresh foods that make up a healthy diet,” said NRCS Acting State Conservationist for Texas Drenda Williams. “These areas are considered food deserts; this grant opportunity helps address those.”

These grant opportunities are efforts to challenge community organizations, educational institutions and Native American tribes to establish community and school gardens across Texas. Pollinator habitat planted with gardens can provide an increase in harvest potential while providing food and habitat for declining insect communities in Texas.

Grants are available for 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.

The notice of funding opportunity for both grants is available at Applications for Project G.R.E.E.N. (opportunity number USDA-NRCS-TX-PG-20-GEN0010731) and applications for the Texas Urban and Rural Conservation Project (opportunity number USDA-NRCS-TX-URCP-20-GEN0010730) are due May 29, 2020.

Additional information can be found at