Urban Farm Program
August 04, 2022
SAN ANTONIO, May 10, 2022 PRNewswire – Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Calvert’s leadership in creating the transformational Camelot II neighborhood trash program and the Greenies Urban Farm Program has earned him two National Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACO) to be presented at the organization’s annual meeting in Denver, Colorado, in July.
Calvert worked with the Texas Legislature to enable the creation of the solid waste program in one of the county’s highest crime areas that led to dramatic improvements in neighborhood quality of life – a decrease in crime of 54 percent; a decrease in illegal dumping by 74 percent; and decreased animal protection calls by 75 percent.
“This effective work not only helped improve the neighborhood, but it saved county taxpayers significant dollars,” Commissioner Calvert said. “I believed we were creating a national model and now the National Association of Counties has validated that.”
Camelot II had illegal dumping issues since the late 1990s. With no mandated trash collection for the neighborhoods, Commissioner Calvert had to get the Texas House of Representatives, the Texas Senate, and the Governor to agree to give him and the County new authority to deal with the trash and illegal dumping. Once the legislation passed, Commissioner Calvert grew the initial pilot program to the Glen, Crownwood, and Candlewood subdivisions.
NACO is nationally recognizing Commissioner Calvert for his leadership in improving food security for thousands of Bexar County residents during the pandemic.
Commissioner Calvert led the way in securing $2 million in federal funding to ensure that residents experiencing supply chain disruptions did not go hungry during the pandemic. His leadership led to 25,000 lbs. of super greens and fruits being available for residents struggling to pay for groceries – putting Calvert ahead of the economic reality of inflation, which is now the top worry according to polls of U.S. voters.
With long lines having wrapped around the Alamodome with thousands of citizens seeking food distributions at the height of the pandemic, Commissioner Calvert will receive a second national award for the Greenies Urban Farm from the National Association of Counties. Commissioner Calvert challenged Commissioner Kevin Wolff, who said a food source program was unnecessary.
The Greenies was also recognized at Texas A&M University in College Station for the state’s top award for “Superior Service” of emerging issues from the Agricultural Extension Service of Texas. The Greenies is under construction and $14 million in additional funding will allow the 10 acres plot of land to house nearly 25 employees from the Bexar County Agricultural Extension Service. The urban farm will also bring revenue to Bexar County through a 300-person event center under construction along Menger Creek, a once-blighted eyesore known as “The Goonies.” Commissioner Calvert has renamed the property “The Greenies.” The Greenies has worked with over 200 non-profits and supplies the San Antonio Food Bank with fresh produce grown and harvested in partnership with the San Antonio Master Gardeners for people countywide.