The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) was created to “help you help the land” & HHCD is here to connect you with the resources you need to do just that! This help, whether it be money, education, or equipment, can lead to many improvements, such as:

  • reducing soil erosion, through practices such as cover cropping and no-till,
  • managing manure and nutrient runoff into streams and rivers,
  • creating or enhancing wildlife habitat for at-risk species,
  • improving irrigation efficiency and conserving water,
  • controlling invasive plant species,
  • adapting to impacts of climate change,
  • implementing forest management practices to increase health and productivity
  • improving energy efficiencies in greenhouses and other infrastructure, & promoting renewable energy on farms.

Are you interested in receiving technical and financial assistance from NRCS and HHCD? Follow the link above to learn more about the different programs offered. We recognize the process can be daunting, so please do not hesitate to contact us with questions!

The following information is taken directly from the NRCS website. Click here to visit their site.

A History of Helping People Help the Land

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) draws on a long history of helping people help the land. For more than 80 years, NRCS and its predecessor agencies have worked in close partnerships with farmers and ranchers, local and state governments, and other federal agencies to maintain healthy and productive working landscapes.

A Brief History of NRCS

On April 27, 1935 Congress passed Public Law 74-46, in which it recognized that “the wastage of soil and moisture resources on farm, grazing, and forest lands . . .  is a menace to the national welfare” and established the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) as a permanent agency in the USDA. In 1994, SCS’s name was changed to the Natural Resources Conservation Service to better reflect the broadened scope of the agency’s concerns. In doing so, Congress reaffirmed the federal commitment to the conservation of the nation’s soil and water resources, first made more than 80 years ago, that continues to this day. To read more about the history of NRCS click here: A Brief History of NRCS

The Conservation Partnership

Collectively, the Massachusetts conservation districts and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service are known as the Conservation Partnership. A conservation district is a subdivision of local government, established under state law to carry out programs for the conservation and wise management of soil, water and related resources. There are thirteen conservation districts in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Each district is governed by a board of supervisors–locally elected citizens who volunteer their time and leadership to the conservation effort. Conservation district supervisors work hand-in-hand with NRCS to deliver technical assistance to the people of Massachusetts.  NRCS provides technical services while the districts provide representation from the local community and the leadership to set priorities for conservation activities and develop new programs. This partnership between NRCS and the conservation districts is one that was carefully designed. This unique and productive relationship continues to be a model for providing federal resources at the local level.  Find out more about locally-led conservation.

Conservation Districts

Conservation districts are the mechanism by which cooperation can take place through landowners, state agencies, federal agencies, programs, grants, and a variety of other partners. Districts provide help to landowners and others on resource management, land-use planning, and detailed soils information. Districts set the local priorities, administer grants, facilitate fund leveraging, and provide a variety of outreach services.