Essex – In an effort to share in the responsibility of a clean and healthy environment, the Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA) offers a comprehensive Clean Water – Green Spaces program aimed at improving regional water quality and enhancing natural areas and biodiversity.
This year, grants are available for cover crops, which are crops planted after winter wheat or soy. Cover crops keep living plant material on the ground over the winter months when the ground is usually bare. This practice improves water quality by reducing erosion and nutrient losses from fields.
“We know that the highest losses of sediment and nutrients from farm fields occurs during the non-growing season during rain and snow melt events because water runs over bare fields,” says Michael Dick, Agricultural Technician and Certified Crop Advisor. “The added vegetation can help slow and filter this runoff, which is also a beneficial practice for improving overall soil health.”
Grants are available at $15/acre up to 200 acres ($3000) with some possibility for extension if funds remain available. Participation in the program is entirely voluntary, and will not have any impact on your property rights. Please contact Michael Dick firstname.lastname@example.org to start the application process.
The Essex Region Conservation Authority is a public sector organization established by the Province in 1973, and governed by local municipalities. For 50 years, it has delivered programs and services that further the conservation, restoration, development and management of natural resources in watersheds in the Essex Region.