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Montgomery Countryside Alliance

Nationally, 3 acres of farmland is lost (and lost forever) every minute. 

The nation's most successful farmland preservation effort lies just 20 miles from Washington's monuments. Created 40 years ago, Montgomery County's Agricultural Reserve is 93,000 acres of farmland, parks, and open space protected with special zoning to ensure residents have access to local food and recreation - along with the regional benefits of intact forests for air and water quality. 

As the pandemic swept the world and store shelves became bare, the Reserve added one more benefit for local residents – Resilience.

Local farmers planted extra crops to keep pace as demand for local food soared- meeting the needs of farmers market and food pantry clients alike. As activities moved outdoors, residents discovered anew the joy of a bike ride, hike, or paddle close to home.

We believe the Reserve can do even more - we are building on the 500 acres of new farms started through our Land Link program to grow the next generation of sustainable food producers. We are meeting the County's carbon reduction goals by replanting acres of forests through our Re-Leaf the Reserve program

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(Pictured: Farmer Niyi of Certified Natural Grown Dodo Farms in Brookeville, MD, who found land in 2019 through our Land Link program)

Resilient and resourceful ourselves - Montgomery Countryside Alliance is the lean and tenacious nonprofit organization protecting the Ag Reserve since 2001. The development pressures in our busy metro area are intense - yielding an impression that farmland is just "open space" awaiting a "better" purpose.  For 20 years, we have rallied our supporters to advocate against countless misguided land-use policies that would take farmland out of production forever.  We have seen this year that disruptions to our normal lives can happen. Local farmland and open space have proved to be critical resources in this crisis - with your support. We can ensure their protection for whatever the future holds. We would be honored by your support this Giving Tuesday. 

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(Pictured: The difference in land use policy in Montgomery County and neighboring Virginia can be seen from a mile up. Forested stream buffers mean better water quality for the mighty Potomac - and in turn, our drinking water supply) 

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