FY 2014 Request for Application

Program Description 
The purpose of the USDA Farm to School Grant Program is to assist eligible entities in implementing farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools. On an annual basis, USDA awards up to $5 million in competitive grants for training, supporting operations, planning, purchasing equipment, developing school gardens, developing partnerships, and implementing farm to school programs. 

In this funding round, USDA is soliciting applications for three types of grants:
1. Planning grants are intended for school districts or schools just starting to incorporate farm to school program elements into their operations.
2. Implementation grants are intended for school districts or schools to help scale or further develop existing farm to school initiatives.
3. Support Service grants are intended for state and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, agricultural producers or groups of agricultural producers, and non-profit entities working with school districts or schools to further develop existing farm to school initiatives and to provide broad reaching support services to farm to school initiatives.
Proposals are due at midnight EST, April 24, 2013. In all cases, a 25% cash or in-kind match of the total project cost is required. 

Important Dates and Deadlines
* February 6, 2013: Request for Applications Released
* April 24, 2013: Proposals Due (Midnight EST)
* October 2013: Awards Announced and Funds Available (Pending the Availability of Federal Funds)


Teaching the Hudson Valley


hyde_parkSchool budgets continue to be all about frugality. To help ensure that kids still experience some of the region's many treasures, THV will continue making Explore Awards to help cover the cost of transportation and site admissions.

Trips must be related to core curriculum or programs. If you are planning to visit a site in Hyde Park, please consider applying for a Bus On Us grant, instead of an Explore Award.

Teachers and other staff in after-school and summer programs, as well as public and private schools, are eligible.

Applicants should plan to attend a THV institute the summer before or after the trip. 

Institutes are usually held at the end of July in Hyde Park. Related time and travel typically covers much of the 50-50 match Explore Awards require.

Applicants--and sites they visit--must be located within the federally-designated Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area including the counties listed below. Please see guidelines for details and to download an application.

Eligible counties: Albany, Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam,Rensselaer, Rockland, Saratoga, Ulster, and Westchester.



save_nature_centerOnce again, the Westchester County 2013 draft budget calls for eliminating several park Curator positions along with the Parks' Department Wildlife Manager. Three of FCWC's member organizations are directly impacted by the layoffs. 

The Curators are not only the face of the nature centers in which they operate, but are often responsible for the maintenance of the parks. They have been directly involved with Natural Resource Management Plans and conservation efforts throughout the County. The Curators have the training and the job description to allow them to run the diverse and affordable environmental programs and summer camps that are enjoyed by the citizens of Westchester and the surrounding areas. Operating with unqualified people in these positions or with reduced numbers of programs would be detrimental to regional environmental education efforts. In a time when personal connections with nature and natural resources are most needed, we are asking our friends to urge the Board of Legislators to reinstate the Curators and their positive representation of Westchester County's obligations to future generations.

Call your County Legislator and let them know that it is important to Westchester County that these Nature Curator positions stay funded!

Board of Legislators Districts and Phone Numbers

John Testa-
Peekskill, Buchanan, Yorktown -914.995.2828

Peter Harckham-
Somers, Bedford, Mount Kisco, North Salem, Lewisboro, Pound Ridge-914.995.2810 

Michael Smith-
Mount Pleasant, Pleasantville, North Castle- 914.995.2847

Michael Kaplowitz-
Yorktown, New Castle, Somers- 914.995.2848 

William Ryan-
White Plains, Scarsdale, Harrison- 914.995.2827

David Gelfarb-
Harrison, Rye Brook, Port Chester- 914.995.2834

Judith Myers-
Mamaroneck, Rye, Larchmont, Harrison, New Rochelle-914.995.2802

Alfreda Williams-
Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown, Elmsford, Greenburgh - 914.995.2833

Catherine Borgia-
Cortlandt, Croton on Hudson, Ossining, Briarcliff Manor, Peekskill-914.995.2812

Sheila Marcotte-
Eastchester, Tuckahoe, New Rochelle- 914.995.2817

James Maisano-
Pelham, Pelham Manor, New Rochelle- 914.995.2826

MaryJane Shimsky-
Irvington, Dobbs Ferry, Hastings on Hudson, Ardsley, Greenburgh- 914.995.2821

Lyndon Williams-
Mount Vernon- 914.995.2837

Bernice Spreckman-
Yonkers, Mount Vernon- 914.995.2815

Gordon Burrows-
Yonkers, Bronxville- 914.995.2830

Kenneth Jenkins-
Yonkers- 914.995.2829

Virginia Perez-
Yonkers- 914.995.2846


Committing to cut energy use at home or at work is a wonderful undertaking. Getting started and taking accurate measurements of your progress are the most important parts of your commitment. The best way to know how much you’ve cut is to take before and after "snapshots" of your energy use.


Accurately measuring your energy use and emissions output is called a “Greenhouse Gas [GHG] Inventory.” Individuals and private households can use the EPA’s Household Emissions Calculator to track energy use and GHGs. Another great and easy-to-use tool, for both individuals and businesses/organizations, is My Energy Plan.  Bigger companies or corporations might benefit from investigating the standards and recommendations from GreenHouse Gas Protocol.

When you’re ready to start making reductions, check out the NYSERDA website for more excellent tools and tips, including information on subsidies and funding for efficiency projects for homes and businesses.


Cows_buttsSustainable Community Grants focus on sustainable agriculture as it affects community development, and successful proposals enhance the economic, social, and environmental position of farms and farmers. Reviewers are looking for innovative projects that clearly benefit farmers and were planned in coordination with them; they also want to see efforts that others can replicate and that are likely to bring about durable and positive institutional change.

Proposals must address certain key issues such as finance, marketing, land use, water use, enterprise development, value-added activities, or labor.

Sustainable Community Grants are primarily for agriculturally oriented agencies and nonprofits (Cooperative Extension, NRCS, state departments of agriculture, or comparable entities), and community development groups with the capacity and experience to foster sustainable agriculture enterprise development.

Grant funds can be used to pay for personnel costs, mileage, materials and supplies specific to the project, outreach, per-diem or consultant costs, and project-specific long distance, fax, and conference calls. Grant funds can also be used to cover meeting expenses and printing, postage, or outreach costs associated with hosting an event or field day. Any equipment costs must be project-specific; requests for general office equipment costs are not allowable.

Check out Partnership Grants for money to fund your sustainable farm- business project.

The deadline to apply is October 19th. For more information, visit

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