Urban Farms Conservation Mini-Grants Program – Applications currently closed – will reopen in Summer 2023
Urban farms are incredibly important to Alameda 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 California Association of Resource 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.
Grants may cover the following types of activities:
- Erosion control and runoff reduction measures eg. bioswale, rain garden or filter strips utilizing native, drought tolerant or other appropriate plantings, straw wattles for storm drains, mulching, cover crops, rainwater collection systems.
- Conservation and habitat plantings eg. cover crops, hedgerows, bee and owl boxes, drought tolerant or native plantings.
- Water quality and efficiency improvements eg. irrigation system improvements, compost systems or compost covers, greywater systems.
- Informational Signage eg. weatherproof placards explaining the purpose of a rain garden or filter strip; a sign describing various run-off/erosion mitigation practices and how they support water quality in an adjacent waterway.
For more information on eligible conservation practices, such as those listed above, click here. The list above is a sample and applicants should feel free to propose additional conservation activities that will benefit soil or water resources while supporting production.
Interested parties will submit a brief application describing their conservation needs related to soil, habitat and water quality enhancement as well as the conservation improvements they intend to install. Proposals will include an estimated budget not to exceed $2,500.
- Eligibility: Eligible applicants include urban farms, gardens, and organizations with urban farming programs including faith-based and therapeutic organizations. Project sites must be located within Alameda County.
- Farm sites near, adjacent to, or containing a storm drain, creek, channel, or body of water to which farm run-off is likely to flow during a significant storm event.
- Farm sites located in, producing food for, or providing educational opportunities for underserved communities as defined by CalEnviroscreen or the USDA Food Access Research Atlas.
- Efforts by the implementing organization/entity to outreach to the public and educate their neighbors about the benefits of the newly implemented conservation activities are encouraged.
- Re-submission of prior unsuccessful applications will be given extra consideration provided reviewer feedback is reflected in the revised applicationProject sites located within Alameda County Flood Control District Zones 2, 2A, 3A, 4, 5, 6, 9, 12 & 13, including Oakland, San Leandro, Castro Valley, San Lorenzo, Hayward, Fremont, and Newark. For more detail on priority locations click here.
Photos credits from L to R: WOW Farm, Kassenhoff Growers, WOW Farm, City Slicker Farms
Program funded and supported by: