AP NEWS

Lunenburg Agricultural Business Nabs Environmental Grant

December 25, 2018

By Stephen Landry

slandry@sentinel andenterprise.com

LUNENBURG -- Dick’s Market Gardens was among the nearly two dozen agricultural businesses in the state to be awarded grant money aimed at improving water and air quality.

The administration of Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito announced on Monday that 23 grants totaling $350,000 would be awarded through the state’s Agricultural Environment Enhancement Program (AEEP).

The grants will continue to advance environmental protection measures within the state’s agricultural sector and help farms across the Commonwealth fund various environmental projects, including the installation of automated irrigation systems, manure storage for dairy farms, and irrigation for produce farms, according to officials.

Dick’s Market Gardens, 649 Northfield Road, Lunenburg, will receive $19,000 for a drip irrigation system, according to the press release.

“The agricultural community plays an important and active role in the Commonwealth’s environmental stewardship and overall economy,” said Baker. “The funding awarded under the Agricultural Environmental Enhancement Program positions farmers to advance techniques that preserve and protect critical resources, while working closely with our administration to help agricultural operations remain environmentally sustainable and economically viable.”

The AEEP funds projects that improve water quality, promote water conservation, and/or improve air quality. Selected farmers are reimbursed for the approved costs of materials and labor up to $25,000. Additionally, farms must be devoted to agricultural or horticultural use, and projects that address significant resource concerns are more likely to receive AEEP funding.

“Water conservation and improved irrigation are important components of the Baker-Polito administration’s efforts to ensure resiliency to climate change,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Farms across the Commonwealth work tirelessly to protect the state’s local food supply, and the funding awarded will ensure they are able to produce healthy, nutritious food while continuing efforts to protect our environment.”

Other agricultural businesses set to receive funding under the grant include Almeida Farms in Rehoboth, Clarkdale Fruit Farms in Deerfield, and Spartan Cranberries in Middleboro.

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