USDA Awards KNOX Parks Foundation, Inc. with Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Grant

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USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

October 26, 2022

USDA Awards KNOX Parks Foundation, Inc. with Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Grant, Part of Broader $14.2 Million Investment

Urban farmer at work

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $14.2 million in 52 grants that support urban agriculture and innovative production, including a project in Hartford. This investment, which includes American Rescue Plan Act funds, will enable grant recipients like KNOX Parks Foundation, Inc. to increase food production and access in economically distressed communities, provide job training and education, and allow partners to develop business plans and zoning proposals. These grants build on $26.3 million in projects funded since 2020 and are part of USDA’s broad support for urban agriculture through its Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (OUAIP). 

“This competitive grant program has already had tremendous impacts for communities across the country, including right here in Connecticut, and we look forward to co-investing in bold ideas to support agriculture in the urban landscape while also empowering local communities to provide fresh, healthful foods,” said Thomas L. Morgart, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist in Connecticut. “This grant program is part of our broad support for urban agriculture, local and regional food systems and underserved communities.”  

KNOX manages and maintains 21 community gardens throughout Hartford. Many gardens have unmet infrastructure needs, which limits their use. Through the grant, KNOX will expand access to growing space through infrastructure improvements. These enhancements will also open up growing space for KNOX farming participants. Workshops and educational opportunities will be made available for both adults and students.

The Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (UAIP) competitive grants program supports a wide range of activities through two types of grants, planning projects and implementation projects. Today’s announced recipients include 18 planning projects and 34 implementation projects. The grant to Knox Parks Foundation, Inc. is for an implementation project.

Implementation projects will accelerate urban, indoor, and other agricultural practices that serve multiple farmers and improve local food access. They may support infrastructure needs, emerging technologies, education, and urban farming policy implementation.  

The planning projects will initiate or expand efforts of urban and suburban farmers, gardeners, citizens, government officials, schools, and other stakeholders. These grantees will target areas of food access, education, business and start-up costs for new farmers, urban forestry, and policies related to zoning and other needs of urban production. Having more capacity to gather, process, move and store food in different geographic areas of the country will provide more options for producers to create value-added products and sell locally, which will support new economic opportunities and job creation in underserved communities. Additional regional capacity also will give consumers more options to buy locally produced products—helping ensure food is available to consumers—and reduce the climate impact of our food supply chain.

In total, projects were funded in 27 states. For a complete list of grant recipients and project summaries, visit Urban Agriculture | USDA.

More Information 

OUAIP was established through the 2018 Farm Bill. It is led by NRCS and works in partnership with numerous USDA agencies that support urban agriculture and innovative production. These grants are part of a broader USDA investment in urban agriculture. Other efforts include:  

  • Creating and managing a Federal Advisory Committee for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production to advise the Secretary on the development of policies and outreach relating to urban agriculture.   
  • Renewing the People’s Garden Initiative, which celebrates collaborative gardens across the country and worldwide that benefit their communities by growing fresh, healthy food and supporting resilient, local food systems using sustainable practices, and providing greenspace.
  • Providing cooperative agreements that develop and test strategies for planning and implementing municipal compost plans and food waste reduction plans.
  • Investing in risk management education to broaden reach of crop insurance among urban producers.
  • Organizing 17 FSA urban county committees to make important decisions about how FSA farm programs are administered locally. Urban farmers who participate in USDA programs in the areas selected are encouraged to participate by nominating and voting.

Today’s announcement supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s broader work to strengthen critical supply chains as directed by Executive Order 14017 America's Supply Chains.

Learn more at For additional resources available to producers, download our Urban Agriculture at a Glance brochure or visit

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit    


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