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Southeast Michigan RC&D Council

City of Detroit - Wayne Co. Seasonal High Tunnel Educational Initiative

City of Detroit - Wayne Co. Seasonal High Tunnel Educational Initiative

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The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced that they are currently accepting applications in the 2015 Wayne County Local Food Initiative to assist eligible applicants with installation of seasonal high tunnels in Detroit and Wayne County. Eligible producers may receive up to $9,474.30 in cost-share assistance from the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP).   The deadline for signing up for the Initiative is December 19, 2014. All applicants must first establish farm records at the USDA Farm Service Agency prior to applying for the program.  For more information and full application requirements, please review the information packet and contact the USDA Service Center in Ann Arbor at (734) 761-8789 x3. Farmers are encouraged to act quickly in order to complete the multi-step application in advance of the deadline.

The City of Detroit - Wayne County Seasonal High Tunnel Educational Initiative aims to improve the outlook for agricultural producers in the most urban area of Michigan. Working through funding from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Council will provide workshops and technical assistance to local producers in an effort to extend the growing season and increase the availability of locally grown fruits and vegetables in Detroit.

Since late 2009, NRCS has been leading a Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative (SHT) as a part of its Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The EQIP program provides landowners with financial and technical assistance to conduct voluntary practices that will improve soil, water, plant, animal, air, energy conservation, and related resources on agricultural land and non-industrial private forestland. The SHT initiative brings this same financial and technical assistance to support installation and management of seasonal high tunnels/hoophouses in agricultural production. The use of high tunnels has been shown to produce many important benefits that could support both economic development and access to healthy food in the Detroit - Wayne County region, including:

  • Extended growing season,
  • Enhanced local food production,
  • Lowered transportation burdens, 
  • Reduction of inputs of nutrients and/or pesticides,
  • Improved product quality,
  • Improved soil and air quality, and
  • New business opportunities, particularly for new and limited-resource farmers.

Throughout 2015, the Southeast Michigan RC&D Council will again be bringing together the area's agricultural producers, local food advocates, and community organizations to build partnerships around this issue and will produce a series of educational materials to provide valuable information to local producers. In addition, the team will conduct workshops throughout 2015 to address the following:

  • Production and marketing of crops grown in seasonal high tunnels,
  • Installation of seasonal high tunnels, and
  • Management and maintenance of seasonal high tunnels.


Stay informed of news and workshop announcements for this project:

For more information about the seasonal high tunnels educational programming, please contact:
Jessica Simons, Project Coordinator, via email or phone at 517-851-2372

For more information about NRCS EQIP in southeastern Michigan, please contact:
NRCS Ann Arbor Service Center.



Additional Resources:

Please see the resources page for more information on USDA - NRCS programs and assistance, community resources, other training programs and events, hoophouse educational resources, vendor and provider lists, and local expertise.

Photos courtesy of the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, the City of Detroit, and StOrmz.

The USDA is an equal opportunity employer and provider.