Urban Agriculture

The Conservation Partnership can help urban farmers accomplish their production and conservation goals in many ways; we provide:

  • Technical assistance with irrigation, pollination, pest control and development of habitat including cover crops or hedgerows.
  • Information on best practices.
  • Workshops on a variety of issues related to urban agriculture.
  • Identification of potential sources of funding for conservation-related projects.
  • Mini-Grants that provide up to $2,500 in funding for water, soil, or habitat improvements while also enhancing potential food production

Free technical assistance

Technical assistance is the sharing of information and skills by experts in issues related to farming in an urban environment. Our urban ag technical assistants have experience working with urban farms and gardens in Alameda County. They can help you with irrigation management, rainwater catchment, composting, cover crop selection, weed management, habitat development, and more! They are available to provide assistance. Contact Colleen Hotchkiss to learn more or schedule a site visit.

Jessica BatesJessica Bates

Jessica has been gardening for over 20 years. She is a Master Gardener and Master Composter as well as a certified permaculture teacher and designer. She has experience designing and installing rain catchment systems including bioswales and creating irrigation systems. When she isn’t working with ACRCD, she runs her own permaculture business and teaches educational programs about gardening.

Jibril KyserJibril Kyser

Jibril is an agroecologist who specializes in building healthy soils through cover cropping, mound hills and swales, composting, and inoculating soil with indigenous microorganisms. Jibril also has experience with drip or hose irrigation and rainwater catchment systems. He co-founded a farm collective comprised of Pan-African and Pan-Indigenous farmers and educators who spread ancestral knowledge and train community members to build collectivized, autonomous, and chemical free food systems in urban and peri-urban environments throughout the Greater East San Francisco Bay Area.

Urban Farms Conservation Mini-Grants Program

Urban farms are incredibly important to Almeda County- they provide food to areas or people in need, offer educational opportunities, and create islands of habitat in the built landscape. However, finding funding for projects that enhance their productivity and improve their conservation measures can be challenging. Our mini-grant program, in partnership with the National Association of Conservation Districts, Alameda County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and UC Cooperative Extension, is geared toward facilitating the installation of conservation practices that enhance soil and water quality as well as habitat on urban farms. We offer small grants of up to $2,500 to help support local urban ag. To learn more, or to apply, please see our Funding Opportunities page.

Compost Delivery

ACRCD has partnered with UC ANR, UC Cooperative Extension, and the Oakland Zoo to provide free compost to farms and gardens in Alameda County. This program supports local urban agriculture operations by providing a nutrient-dense amendment that works to enhance soil health, increase water holding capacity, and increase production. Compost created at the Oakland Zoo – “Zoo Poo” – is delivered to farm and garden sites in urban and peri-urban locations through scheduled appointments. Simply fill out our compost delivery sign-up sheet to schedule a delivery date and time, and we will coordinate your compost drop-off.

Primary Contact

Colleen Hotchkiss


University of California Cooperative Extension

National Association of Conservation Districts

Alameda County Water and Flood Control District



Urban Ag Conservation Practices

UCCE’s Urban Ag Resources Page

Urban Farms
Urban Agriculture