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Learn About & Give Input to Statewide Climate Resilience and Mitigation Plan at the NOFA Summer Conference Fair

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This article comes from the NOFA/Massachusetts 2019 August Issue Newsletter

By the Healthy Soils Action Plan Project Team

This year, NOFA Summer Conference attendees and any interested members of the public will have an opportunity to give input during the Fair to a Massachusetts statewide plan for enhancing soil health, soil carbon, and soil resilience across multiple land uses. We will be gathering from 4:30-5:30pm on the lawn near the conference registration tent to share information and ideas about planning for soil health across the state.


The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA) and the Massachusetts Commission for Conservation of Soil, Water, & Related Resources have embarked on a broad public planning process to research and write a plan for how Massachusetts can best support land uses including farming, forestry and urban development for climate change resilience and mitigation. 

Land Cover DonutRegenerative Design Group, a Greenfield-based landscape and permaculture design firm has been awarded the contract to lead the project. The Project Team also includes Linnean Solutions, a Cambridge, MA-based firm that helps communities and organizations reach sustainability and resilience goals; Eric Toensmeier, carbon farming expert and contributor to Project Drawdown; Caro Roszell, Education Director and Soil Carbon Program Manager at NOFA/Mass; and Marty Dagoberto, Policy Director at NOFA/Mass, and contributor to the proposed MA Healthy Soils Bill now being considered by the legislature.

The session at the NOFA Summer Conference Fair is first of many listening sessions that will be held to engage stakeholders across the Commonwealth to inform the plan. 


The ultimate goal of the plan is to help land owners and managers to implement practices that reduce erosion and carbon emissions, improve production, increase carbon storage, and build resilience to extreme weather events. The plan will also support policy makers, regulators, and program administrators in shaping current and future soil-related efforts to help the Commonwealth achieve its climate change and resiliency goals.

To achieve the overall project goal, the Project Team will seek to:

  • Understand the current state of science around soil health;
  • Understand the current state, and likely future trends, of land use;
  • Understand the range of soil health practices – and opportunities and challenges for implementation of best practices – for all land uses in Massachusetts;
  • Inventory the various programs for funding and assistance on the topic of soil health;
  •  Illuminate key issues and priority actions related to improving soil health in MA; and
  • Develop an educational outreach strategy and report from this investigation that helps land managers and policy makers make decisions that increase soil health and all related benefits.

We invite you to come and hear about the project, provide feedback to the plan, and share with the planning team representatives about your interests and concerns regarding enhancing soil health in our state.

Reminder: you do not need to be registered for the NOFA Summer Conference to attend the Fair or this Listening Session! The NOFA Country Fair is free and open to the public. After the listening session concludes, stick around to enjoy food, live music, a beer garden and educational demonstrations on food, farming and fermentation at the Fair! 


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