Conservation District of Southern Nevada
by Melissa Blair, NRCS Acting State Public Affairs Specialist in Nevada
In the middle of one of the highest food insecure neighborhoods in the City of North Las Vegas is a blossoming oasis of kale, spinach, carrots, and other fresh produce in the Zion Garden Park Community Garden at Zion United Methodist Church.
“People need access to quality, nutritious, and affordable food and the way to get that is to grow it locally,” said Amber Bosket, the project director and board secretary of the Conservation District of Southern Nevada (CDSN). Bosket is also the owner and executive director of State Renewable Energy with her husband Corrie, who donated the design and 3D model of the community garden.
NACD, in partnership with NRCS, awarded an Urban Agriculture Conservation grant to the CDSN thissummer to help the district and the Zion United Methodist Church install 40 raised garden beds, surrounded by a wrought iron fence donated by the City of North Las Vegas. The team is currently installing 24 American Disability Act (ADA) raised beds – which are taller and narrower to accommodate wheel chairs – in addition to permeable walkways, a shaded patio, 30 trees, six benches, and a composting area. The grants funds were matched two-to-one within three months from the start of the project.
Teri Knight with NRCS worked with the group on technical assistance and to acquire their farm number with the USDA-Farm Service Agency (FSA). The farm number will allow the group to apply for a seasonal high tunnel and pollinator garden through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The group is also working with West Career and Technical Academy, a local high school with a licensed nursery who helped grow more than 500 seedlings for transplanting to the garden. The students worked with a group of disabled young adults to plant the seedlings as part of one of their mentoring programs.
Ray Dotson, Nevada NRCS state conservationist, said, “The raw power of partnerships is on full display with this community based project that is led by the local leaders in conservation. The Conservation District of Southern Nevada made this happen – NRCS just followed their lead!”
CDSN will team up with the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and other partners to host composting and healthy soils workshops, interactive educational classes on backyard conservation and integrated pest management, and healthy eating cooking demonstrations at the Zion United Methodist Church demonstration garden.
Other project partners include: Terra Firma Organics, which donated all the soil for the garden; the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, which lead efforts to promote landfill diversion by reclaiming wood to be used for the ADA beds; PD Landscaping; Nevada Partners; Impact Sand and Gravel; Star Nursery; Ahern; Lowe’s; and the Nevada Division of Forestry.
For more information about this project, contact Teri Knight at firstname.lastname@example.org or Amber Bosket at email@example.com. If you would like to see your district’s conservation project featured in eResource, contact Director of Communications Whitney Forman-Cook.