ELIZABETHTOWN, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Adirondack Council and Essex Farm Institute announced Thursday that their “Micro-Grants for Adirondack Farmers” program is now in open season.

The program is offering small grants of up to $5,000 to farms and other producers operating out of the Adirondack Park. The park is composed of both public and private lands. The private areas include homes and businesses, as well as farms, timberlands and resorts.

“Supporting Adirondack farms helps the local economy while protecting water quality, open space and wildlife habitat that isn’t common on the Forest Preserve,” said Adirondack Council Executive Director William C. Janeway in a news release. “Sustainable farms and local food are essential to the park’s quality of life.”

Grants will be awarded for projects designed to lessen environmental impact and provide benefits, which the council describes as including soil health, water quality, carbon emissions reductions and other sustainable farming work.

The program has awarded over $91,000 to 72 projects since 2016. It also awards work to protect farms against the effects of climate change. This year’s program is being expanded to do more to award those efforts.

Applications can be sent to the council’s official website, and are due by March 31.

“Local farmers are eager to make changes that protect soil and water, or save energy,” said Courtney Klipper, co-founder of the Klipper Family Fund, which helped to establish the grant program. “But new investments and new methods can be risky for any business.  Small grants to individual farms can help relieve some of that stress and encourage farmers to try new things.  We are delighted to help them achieve their environmental goals through well-placed micro-grants.”