Growing greener: Chatham County approves farmland preservation grants

Pittsboro, NC – The Chatham County Board of Commissioners approved farmland preservation grants for the permanent conservation of three Chatham County farms totaling 287 acres at its meeting on April 15. The grants are the first awards from the recently established Chatham Agricultural Preservation and Development (CAPD) Trust Fund. The grant awards were presented to the commissioners at the recommendation of the Chatham Soil & Water Conservation District Board and the Chatham County Agricultural Advisory Board.

Image by vecstock on Freepik

“We are grateful to the commissioners for their support of these projects,” says Andrew Waters, Farmland Preservation Coordinator for Chatham County, who notes that the CAPD opened its first round of grant applications last December. “We anticipate these grant awards will be the first of many farmland preservation grants awarded by the county in the years to come.”

The CAPD Trust Fund was established by the Chatham County Board of Commissioners on October 17, 2022, to support agricultural preservation and development within the county. Funding for the CAPD Trust Fund comes from the Article 46 sales tax referendum that was approved by Chatham County voters in the March 2020 voter referendum.

The CAPD farmland preservation grants are awarded to Triangle Land Conservancy (TLC), which will hold perpetual conservation easements on the preserved farms. The grant awards are contingent on Triangle Land Conservancy’s ability to secure matching grant funds, which it is actively seeking. “It is common for farmland preservation projects to receive funding from multiple grant sources,” says Waters. “All these projects are contingent on receiving additional grant funding, but Chatham County’s support is an important first step in the process.”

The commissioners also awarded a $75,000 organizational support grant to TLC to further prioritize farmland preservation efforts in Chatham County. “These types of farmland preservation projects take a lot of time and resources to complete,” says Waters. “Although we’ve been working with Triangle Land Conservancy for years, this organizational support will help formalize our cooperative partnership and bring additional land conservation resources to Chatham County.”

Inquiries about the CAPD grant process and farmland preservation options should be directed to Andrew Waters, Farmland Preservation Coordinator at or Call: 919-545-8447.