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LCRA, Bluebonnet Co-op award $24,500 grant for Crowe’s Nest Farm educational exhibit
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LCRA, Bluebonnet Co-op award $24,500 grant for Crowe’s Nest Farm educational exhibit

0521
 2020
MANOR, Texas – A $24,500 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative will help Crowe’s Nest Farm construct a 1-acre pond to collect water and provide a habitat for migrating waterfowl.

The grant, along with $10,500 in matching funds, will help build the water capture pond, which also will provide a wetlands habitat educational exhibit for the tens of thousands of school children who visit the farm annually.

In order to keep the pond healthy, the water will be aerated by a windmill and solar-powered pump, and native Texas plants will protect the north side of the pond from northern winds.

“The low runoff area is perfect to capture water from rains, but we have never had enough funds to complete the project,” said David Williams, Crowe’s Nest Farm executive director. “Until now, the area was just a grassy bowl that never held water. Thanks to this grant, we can re-dig, seal and complete the pond.”

Currently, the 90-acre farm has no way to capture and conserve rainwater or runoff. The pond will not only be a valuable educational tool, but also will serve as a critical water source for migrating waterfowl.

“We are smack dab in the middle of a major migratory path of many species of birds that pass through every year,” Williams said. “We have observed numerous native species on the farm, and the pond will attract and provide for even more birds and waterfowl.”

With the Manor and Austin areas rapidly growing, attendance is increasing at the farm as interest in outdoor education experiences grows. About 40,000 school children visit the farm annually.

“We are very excited about this project,” Williams said. “It has been badly needed for 22 years.”

The community grant is one of 28 grants recently awarded through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which provides economic development and community assistance grants to cities, counties, volunteer fire departments, regional development councils and other nonprofit organizations in LCRA’s wholesale electric and water service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and a partner in the grant program.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted July 1-31. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.

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