Funds will be used to recruit new landowners
The province’s support of Alternative Land-Use Services (ALUS) in Norfolk continued last week with news of a $263,200 Trillium grant.
The cash will be used to compensate farmers and other property owners who devote marginal land to projects that improve the ecosystem while providing environmental benefits to the wider community.
“This funding will allow us to increase the number of Norfolk County residents that actively participate in ecosystem restoration” Joe Csoff, a committee chair with ALUS Norfolk, said in a news release.
“The ALUS model maintains biodiversity and important ecological features without diminishing food production in Norfolk.”
The funding announcement was made Oct. 9 at Long Point Eco-Adventures north of Turkey Point.
As part of the event, ALUS participants, Ontario Trillium Foundation representatives, and local dignitaries toured the assorted ALUS projects that are part of the landscape at the recreational facility.
From 2011 to 2013, wetland areas at Long Point Eco-Adventures were restored while tall-grass prairie – a once-common, natural feature in Norfolk — was planted to provide habitat for native birds and wildlife while serving as a food supply for wild pollinators.
“The continued support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation for the Ontario ALUS program is heartening,” said local MPP Toby Barrett. “The end result — with more acres enrolled — is a win-win for farmers and our environment.”
The grant will also be used to host outreach programs for potential new recruits to ALUS.
Last week’s event featured a wagon tour of the Penner property in Port Rowan.
This property also features ecosystem remediation projects that provide environmental benefits to the wider community. These include reforested areas and wetlands that were restored in 2009. The Penner property was improved in partnership with the Long Point Region Conservation Authority.
ALUS Norfolk is a not-for-profit organization supported by various funding sources. The latter include government, charitable foundations, corporations and individuals. By supporting ALUS, these funders help farmers combine agriculture with green infrastructure that provides environmental benefits to everyone.
ALUS Norfolk is associated with ALUS Canada, which is a Weston Family initiative. ALUS Canada helps farmers and ranchers produce cleaner air, cleaner water, enhanced biodiversity and other ecosystem benefits.
A total of 24,000 acres representing 750 property owners in six provinces are enroled in ALUS. More information on the program is available at ALUS.ca.