EDMONTON, July 28, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - More than 100 people gathered at the Edmonton Corn Maze today to celebrate the official relaunch of ALUS Canada, a national program that funds farmers and ranchers producing clean air, clean water, pollinator habitat and other ecosystem services.
"Since 2010, ALUS Canada has invested nearly $674,000 in Alberta's ALUS communities, where participants are now devoting more than 3,600 acres to producing ecosystem services for all Albertans," said ALUS Canada Executive Director, Bryan Gilvesy.
Today, the ALUS program announced its relaunch as ALUS Canada, an independent not-for-profit organization supported by The W. Garfield Weston Foundation.
Gilvesy unveiled the organization's new branding and a preview of its new website, alus.ca.
Guest speakers included the Hon. Rod Shaigec (Mayor of Parkland County) and the Hon. Bart Guyon (Reeve of Brazeau County, ALUS participant).
Prominently displayed at the podium was a green Alberta Emerald Award trophy, recognizing ALUS' benefits for the people of Alberta. The Shared Footprint award is sponsored by the Alberta Real Estate Foundation.
ALUS is rapidly expanding. There are now 20 ALUS communities in six provinces. And with its Quebec launch on August 10, ALUS Canada is becoming bilingual and truly national.
Here in Alberta, ALUS has grown from the province's three original communities (Vermilion River, Parkland and Red Deer County) to a total of ten programs.
More than 70 Albertan farmers and ranchers now participate, including the event's host, Dan Horneman, who has established a project at the Edmonton Corn Maze.
Guests toured the ALUS project on site, an "eco-buffer" producing habitat for pollinators, birds and beneficial insects, and absorbing nutrients and sediment from the corn field in order to improve water quality in nearby Wedgewood Creek.
"With the mix of students, neighbours and folks from the city who visit us, this location provides the perfect opportunity for demonstrating the benefits of an eco-buffer," said Horneman.
The Edmonton Corn Maze ALUS project is part of the ALUS Parkland program, whose annual farm tour immediately followed the Corn Maze announcement.
ALUS Canada Snapshot (2015):
- 6 provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, PEI)
- 20 ALUS communities, including PEI.
- $2.8M to ALUS communities since 2011
- 722 ALUS farmers and ranchers
- 15,500 ALUS projects
- 18,200 ALUS acres producing ecosystem services
- 7,000 pollinator acres
- 2,600 reforestation acres producing clean air and habitat
- 5,600 wetland acres producing clean water, habitat, flood/drought mitigation,
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http://www.alus.ca/ - new website preview now live!
SOURCE ALUS Canada
For further information: Interviews, photos and info: Bridget Wayland, ALUS Canada Director of Communications: Tel: 450-298-1003, Cell/text: 514-770-3001; firstname.lastname@example.org