“Fresh Connections: Promoting Urban Agriculture and Natural Resource Conservation” is a new initiative by Cortland County Soil and Water Conservation District to support local food and urban agriculture initiatives, build district capacity, and establish a viable long-term role for the district in urban agriculture conservation.
The focus area for the project is the developing areas of Cortland County, NY, particularly the City of Cortland, population approximately 19,000 (2010) which represents about 40% of the total county population (52,000). A survey by the Seven Valleys Health Coalition about local food issues revealed that local City residents prioitize food access and urban agriculture.
Through the “Fresh Connections” initiative the district will present a multi-part workshop series during 2019 in conjunction with local partners. Workshops will be coordinated and presented by the district with assistance from Main Street Farms, Youth Bureau, Town and Country Garden Club, and others, focusing on growing food, preparing and preserving food, composting, rain barrels, edible landscaping, container gardening and herbs, and soil quality. These workshops promote conservation in urban agriculture and cultivate partnerships for future activities.