February 4, 2019 – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide over $1 million in funding to partners in the Ann Arbor Greenbelt: Saving Michigan Farms Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). Landowners interested in enrolling their land in a conservation easement are encouraged contact one of the partner organizations.
USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) funding for the purchase of conservation easements is provided through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program – Agricultural Land Easement (ACEP-ALE).While applications are accepted on a continuous basis, the first 2019 funding cycle will be from Feb. 11-March 18. Partners will then submit applications to NRCS for funds to purchase conservation easements multiple times over the five-year program period.
If you have an interest in this program, visit www.a2gov.org/greenbelt/Pages/ApplicationProcess.aspx, fill out the Greenbelt application and submit it based on the information provided on the form. Any partner within the RCPP can accept an application. If the applicant is not a suitable fit for their program, they may be referred to another partner’s program. In most cases, landowners should apply to the Greenbelt (if they are located within the Greenbelt District) or to Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation’s Natural Areas Preservation Program.
Located near the struggling Western Lake Erie Basin and southeast Michigan’s rapidly growing Ann Arbor/Detroit metropolitan areas, the Ann Arbor Greenbelt: Saving Michigan Farms project provides an opportunity to protect agricultural lands key to food security and the local economies; preserve the agricultural heritage and quality of life of residents; and combat resource concerns of water quality degradation, soil quality degradation and inadequate habitat for fish and wildlife.
The City of Ann Arbor Open Space and Parkland Preservation Program (Greenbelt) is the lead organizer for Ann Arbor Greenbelt: Saving Michigan Farms. The Greenbelt is an innovative land preservation program that has protected over 5,200 acres of farmland and open space surrounding the city of Ann Arbor, and has leveraged over $25 million through grants, landowner donations and other locally funded programs. The Greenbelt’s leadership in this RCPP is emblematic of their commitment to strategic partnerships and land preservation in the Ann Arbor area.
“We appreciate NRCS’s leadership and the Michigan United States congressional delegation’s support for this project and farmland protection in southeast Michigan,” said Open Space and Parkland Preservation Program Manager Remy Long, “and we look forward to advancing land protection in the communities we serve.”
Other Ann Arbor Greenbelt: Saving Michigan Farms partners include: Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission, Scio Township, Ann Arbor Township, Augusta Township, Legacy Land Conservancy, Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy, The Conservation Fund and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
Please direct any questions about the Ann Arbor Greenbelt: Saving Michigan Farms to Remy Long (Greenbelt) at 734.794.6210 ext. 42798 or firstname.lastname@example.org.