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2 Longmont projects receive $190K in climate grants

Boulder County awarded grants to Ollin Farms and Drylands Agroecology Research in an effort to fight climate change.
Kena and Mark Guttridge, of Ollin Farms, were awarded a grant from Boulder County’s Climate Innovation Fund.

Two projects in Longmont received grants from Boulder County’s new Climate Innovation Fund, the county announced Wednesday.

Ollin Farms received $90,000 for carbon farming and regenerative practices, and Drylands Agroecology Research received $100,000 for the transformation of degraded landscapes into biodiverse ecosystems, the county said in a news release.

“We need to kickstart fresh ideas and creative solutions to tackle the climate crisis and these grant recipients will do that locally,” Boulder County Commissioner Marta Loachamin said in the release.

The Climate Innovation Fund was created to support carbon dioxide removal and landscape restoration solutions.

Drylands Agroecology Research will use the grant to harvest and distribute water for 18,000 trees and shrubs on 100 acres, in an effort to better understand carbon sequestration, according to the news release. 

The group conducted a pilot study, which resulted in an 85% survival rate of 950 fruit and nurse trees with no irrigation, said Amy Scanes-Wolfe, the organization’s director of community outreach.

“With careful design and an initial investment in earthworks and trees, we create systems that will continue to regenerate the land, sequester carbon, rehydrate, support biodiversity, and produce food across generations, with little to no maintenance,” Scanes-Wolfe said in the news release. “This grant is a critical step in catalyzing these systems on a broad scale in Boulder County and beyond so that we can understand their true impact on the land and ecosystem.” 

Ollin Farms will use its grant to expand carbon farming, agroforestry research, composting operations and carbon analysis over the next five years, said Mark Guttridge, who runs Ollin Farms with his partner, Kena Guttridge.

“It is exciting to see Boulder County utilize this new fund to invest in farmers and land stewards leading the way in soil restoration locally,” Mark Guttridge said in the news release. “While there is a lot of talk about carbon sequestration and regenerative farming, and plenty of conferences and academic research, our experience has been funding does not often trickle down to benefit the farmers or impact local soil. 

“Investing directly in land stewards who are pushing the envelope in perennial plantings, composting and growing biodiversity, and providing the means to scientifically track impacts in the field puts Boulder County on the cutting edge of public support for climate solutions.”

Climate Innovation Fund grants were also awarded to Biochar Now, Boulder Watershed Collective and Takachar.

Amber Fisher

About the Author: Amber Fisher

I'm thrilled to be an assistant editor with the Longmont Leader after spending the past decade reporting for news outlets across North America. When I'm not writing, you can find me snowboarding, reading fiction and running (poorly).
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