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Cass Soil and Water Conservation District receives a $48,000 grant to promote natural gardening

The grant is spread over a year and will benefit the eight Cass County community gardens.

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The Cass County Soil and Water Conservation District obtained a $48,000 grant for the eight community gardens in Cass County from the National Association of Conservation Districts.

The grant will be used to promote natural gardening practices, which develop and grow healthy soil and clean water.

The grant was secured with the help of Cass County Statewide Health Improvement Coordinator Simon Whitehead and local master gardeners.

Cass SWCD has enlisted the services of The Earth is Our Home Environmental Solutions director Jim Etzel to deliver educational workshops, field days in the garden, school and youth programs and a range of soil testing and bio-nutrient produce testing.

Natural gardening practices mean a de-emphasis on tilling and bare soil and a new focus on promoting the covering of soil with straw, sawdust, mulch or cover crops such as clover. These practices protect the soil from erosion and unnecessary runoff, increase soil health and encourage biodiversity and pollinator gardens.

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The grant is spread over a year starting in May. Any questions can be directed to swhitehe@umn.edu or the Cass SWCD at 218-547-7241.

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