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King Conservation District Announces $650,000 in Regional Food System Grants

ByJoe Connector

Jun 1, 2015

King Conservation DistrictKing Conservation District to Award Grants to Support King County Agriculture

King Conservation District will make available $650,000 of regional food systems grants in support of King County agriculture through a grant process that was just announced on their website (www.kingcd.org). Grants will be awarded to fund food system related projects with demonstrated public benefit and a link to improving working farm lands in King County.

To learn more, a Launch Event will be held on Wednesday, June 10, at the TAF/Bethaday Learning Center (605 SW 108th Street, Seattle, WA 98146) at 10 am and is open to the public.

Any individual, non-profit, business, school, special district, Tribe or King County jurisdiction within the boundaries of King Conservation District may submit a Letter of Intent for consideration. Documents to submit a Letter of Intent can be found on KCD’s website (www.kingcd.org) and are due by 5pm on Wednesday, July 1, 2015. In addition to responses of four relevant questions regarding the proposed project, applicants must arrange for submission of three peer reviews. “Our hope is, by requiring three peer reviews for each Letter of Intent, we will be encouraging a sense of community around the entire grant application process,” notes King Conservation District Program Manager, Josh Monaghan.   KCD is available to help facilitate the peer review match making process, if needed.

Upon receipt, Letters of Intent will be ranked and based on the results invitations will be issued to attend a Grant Proposal Workshop on Monday, July 20, 2015.   At the Workshop, applicants will give a 15 minute presentation of their proposed project. Once again, this step is intended to encourage a sense of community amongst grant seekers and foster collaboration between proposed projects.   A full grant proposal is due to KCD by Friday, September 4, 2015.

During the months of September and October 2015, a cadre of external grant reviewers, KCD’s Advisory Committee and Board of Supervisors will be ranking the grant proposals and award announcements will be made at the end of October.

In the development of this grant program, KCD staff has been actively engaged with regional food systems planning groups including the King County Local Food Initiative and the Regional Food Policy Council’s Action Plan among others. These groups have been key in identifying gaps in infrastructure, production and marketing that affect King County agriculture and keep it from becoming a more robust economic driver in our region. Outgoing King County Food Initiative Program Manager, Lilly Simmering, attests to the importance of this grant opportunity, “The funds that KCD brings to the table help fill the critical gaps left open by restrictions in federal and state grants.”

The public is encouraged to download the Letter of Intent documents on KCD’s website (www.kingcd.org) and attend the Launch Event at 10 am on June 10th at TAF/Bethaday Learning Center (605 SW 108th, Seattle, WA 98146). Questions regarding the grant process can be directed to foodfarmgrant@kingcd.org.

King Conservation District is a special purpose district created to assist private landowners manage and steward their natural resources through education, technical assistance and cost share programs.