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Public-private Partnership Hopes To Double Carbon Sequestration on McPolin Farm

Charlie Lansche
Summit Land Conservancy

The Summit Land Conservancy, Bill White Farms and Park City Municipal are partnering to make the city owned McPolin Farm a regenerative agriculture operation.

After the Mountain Town 2030 climate conference in October, the Park City Community Foundation announced a grant program to fund innovative climate change solutions. Summit Land Conservancy, Bill White Farms and Park City Municipal, together, will apply for a grant to help fund a regenerative agriculture project on the McPolin Farm along SR 224.

“You know, we’re really excited about this. I went to all three days of the MT 2030 conference and you know it was a little bit of a kick in the stomach to start with because there are some pretty big challenges facing us. So in the end it was inspiring. I'm really inspired by the Park City Community Foundation and grateful to them for putting together the climate action fund.”

Regenerative agriculture is a system of farming which captures carbon in soils and strives to build a more diverse and healthy topsoil.  Summit Land Conservancy Executive director, Cheryl Fox says soils are a great way to sequester carbon on a long-term basis. Trees are great, she says, for holding carbon but as soon as they die, the carbon goes back in the atmosphere.

We want to pursue regenerative agriculture on the McPolin farmlands. And we've already started doing some of that, but we would like to continue and expand it.”
Fox says most of the regenerative agricultural studies have been done on the coasts where there is more rainfall.  They hope to double the sequestration on the McPolin Farm through grazing practices and other regenerative means.

“You know, grazing is part of regenerative agriculture but it's not the only thing. There is also composting and how you use water and how you distribute water across the property. But we also have to do the studies. So, we're really excited about this. So, there's multiple things going on on this project. It's also going to be studied and then what we really want to do is in the end, is to take this to other mountain town communities who often have a kind of McPolin Farm in their town.”

Fox says open land is a good way to sequester carbon, but their goal is to double the amount stored on the McPolin Farm and then share the program with other mountain towns. The Community Foundation website indicates the grant applications close December 5. Go to KPCW.org to find the link.

KPCW reporter Carolyn Murray covers Summit and Wasatch County School Districts. She also reports on wildlife and environmental stories, along with breaking news. Carolyn has been in town since the mid ‘80s and raised two daughters in Park City.
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