Rich Earth Institute Receives Multiple Grants

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. — The Rich Earth Institute has received multiple grants that total $145,000 from the National Fish and Wildlife Fund’s Long Island Sound Futures Fund to divert nitrogen from the Connecticut River Watershed, according to a press release. The Rich Earth Institute is a nonprofit that turns human urine into fertilizer; this pioneering work supports sustainable agriculture and protects vital water resources. While Rich Earth Institute was the only Vermont organization to receive an award, 36 grants totaling $2.57 million were distributed to groups throughout New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to improve the overall health and ecosystem of Long Island Sound. This grant program combines funds from the EPA and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and involves monies for both implementations of programs and planning for expansion of those programs in the future. “This is the first time we have received funding specifically to collect more urine,” said Abe Noe-Hays, research director at the Institute. “And we have recently added additional farms and equipment to accommodate this increase in quantity.” This new funding will enable Rich Earth to double the volume of nutrients recovered and returned to local hay fields. In 2018, a lot of energy was put into building capacity and ramping up, and with these new funds, the Rich Earth Institute can add institutional partners who are interested in permanent, large-scale installations of urine-diverting toilet systems (UDTs). If your organization has bathrooms that receive high foot traffic and are interested in learning more about partnering with Rich Earth Institute for a demonstration project, contact for more information. “Windham County is leading Vermont and the country in the development of urine diverting, alternative waste management infrastructure,” said Kim Nace, executive director of the Rich Earth Institute. “We’re turning urine into a valuable and locally-used resource for our farmers, and saving water while we do it. As early adopters, eyes are on our community as we grow and refine our operations, refining the model for replication in other locations.” Learn more: (Photo courtesy of Rich Earth Institute. From left to right, the Rich Earth Institute team: Arthur Davis, Abe Noe-Hays, Kim Nace and Jed Blume, posing alongside a map of all 36 grant awards.)