Have you ever wanted to start a pollinator garden or determine which vegetables + plants would grow best in your backyard? Well, look no further than our special-purpose government agency known as the Fayette County Conservation District (FCCD).
According to FCCD Director Heather Silvanik, the agency serves as a connector between the local community and various USDA + state programs, like the National Resource Conservation Service.
There are ~12 programs the public can benefit from, but here are the three most popular + well-utilized.
- Backyard Conservation — FCCD will split your conservation effort expenses 50/50 + reimburse up to $200. Heather advises to still apply for the waitlist, as some funds that go unclaimed will be made available.
- Soil Voucher Program — The organization will fully cover the cost for someone to get a soil sample.
- Conservation and Education Grant —These grants go towards plans like community gardens, outdoor classroom space, and field trips. This year they received 21 applicants, but could only fund six.
Heather said that in recent years these programs have gained in popularity, often filling up in a matter of days.
So, how are these funded?
The agency’s budget is a blend of grants, a little state funding, and a teeny tiny percentage — .0006% to be exact — a millage tax.
As Fayette County residents continue to take an active interest in their spaces, Heather plans to ask for the millage tax to be increased to .001% to help fund more projects.
Check out the FCCD’s YouTube channel where you can see video messages from various partners as well as program explanations. And its Facebook + Instagram pages offer tips and community event updates.