REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS! The Appalachian Resource Conservation and Development Council (ARC&D) and the Tennessee Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) have teamed up to increase awareness of community gardening and urban agriculture by providing the funds to establish new community gardens at select schools, churches, government sites, or 501(c)(3) sponsored areas throughout Tennessee. Five grants of up to $500 will be awarded. The grant is only for materials and supplies, not for personnel or administrative; it is to establish new gardens that have not yet broken soil.

Application period closes December 15, 2014, midnight. 


Successful applicants will demonstrate how their garden will:

1)    Educate youth on where food comes from and encourage young people to explore careers in conservation.

2)    Provide interaction between youth and NRCS employees by involving the local District Conservationist in establishing the community garden (DC must provide brief letter of support).

3)    Incorporate sustainable practices that nurture and protect the environment such as capturing rainwater in rain barrels, composting and mulching, companion planting, encouraging pollinators and/or beneficial insects that feed on destructive pests.

4)    Demonstrate that there are sufficient people and financial resources to maintain the garden once it is established.

No match is required, but applicant must demonstrate sufficient people resources and financial resources to maintain the garden once it is established.

Priority will be given to projects in Strike Force counties; find your county at this link:

Award Rubric out of a possible 50 points:
to 5 pts: background description
up to 10 pts: youth involvement
up to 10 pts: future sustainability
up to 10 pts: conservation practices
+ 10 pts: strike force county
+5 pts: demonstrated support from other community partners


–Application period closes Monday December 15, 2014, at midnight.
–Awards announced Monday January 12, 2015 and 50% funds disbursed February 2015.
–Initial project reports due Monday May 11, 2015 and remaining funds disbursed.
–Final project report due Monday August 17, 2015.


For funded projects, an initial report and a final project report will be required. Reports will include an account of expenses (receipts not necessary), photographs of the garden, and documentation of a published news article documenting the success (such as ribbon cutting or grand opening or education event) of the garden and its partnership with NRCS.  An ARC&D representative will strive to visit each awarded garden project during 2015.



letterheadlogo small        NRCS_only