The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality Clean Water Financing and Assistance Program facilitated an effort to protect two streams at Garber Farms in Mount Sidney.
The project was honored by the EPA Clean Water State Revolving Fund George F. Ames Performance and Innovation in the SRF Creating Environmental Success program.
While the Garber Farms project was among 27 from across the U.S. selected for a PISCES award, it was one of only five that received the additional distinction of being named an “exceptional project,” demonstrating excellence in system partnerships.
This is the third consecutive year that a project supported by DEQ-administered financing has been selected for a PISCES award.
“This award recognizes the thoughtful efforts and committed partnerships to protect and improve water quality across the Commonwealth,” said DEQ Director Mike Rolband. “We are honored and proud that Virginia is acknowledged as a leader in promoting best management practices for the benefit of our environment.”
Garber Farms is a picturesque multigenerational family farm located in the Shenandoah Mountains in Augusta County. The project had a total cost of nearly $230,000 and consisted of the installation of more than four miles of stream exclusion fencing that contributed to five miles of streambank protection, over two miles of water lines and 11 watering troughs, and created 77 acres of riparian buffers.
These installments remove an estimated 3,481 pounds of total phosphorus annually at a cost of approximately $66 per pound.
“There’s no way we could have kept our normal operations going if we had to pay for every step of the project as it was being completed,” said Wayne Garber, co-owner of Garber Farms.
The newly relaunched Agricultural Best Management Practices Loan program, part of DEQ’s Virginia Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund, was able to provide a no-interest loan to Garber Farms for the full project cost.
Much of the funding was reimbursed through various sources upon the project’s completion.
For more information about Virginia’s Clean Water Financing and Assistance Program, visit DEQ’s website.
Details about the PISCES program can be found on EPA’s website.