ALUS Middlesex Program Gearing Up for 2018 - ALUS

Ontario’s newest ALUS community, ALUS Middlesex, is gearing up to hit the ground running this spring. For their first meeting of 2018, the ALUS Middlesex PAC invited long-time ALUS Norfolk participant and PAC member Joe Csoff to share his wisdom: Csoff is a tallgrass prairie expert who establishes all the tallgrass projects in ALUS Norfolk, the longest continuously running ALUS program in Canada.

ALUS Middlesex PAC
A snapshot from the ALUS Middlesex PAC meeting, January 10, 2018: Clockwise from bottom left: Hillary Heard (ALUS Middlesex Program Coordinator), Steve Braddish (ALUS Middlesex Treasurer), Mary Simpson (ALUS Middlesex PAC member), Laura Hathaway (ALUS Middlesex PAC member), Dan Brinkman (PAC member representing Conservation Authorities), Dave Reid (ALUS Canada Director of Research), Phil Moddle (ALUS Middlesex PAC member), Joe Csoff (ALUS Norfolk PAC member), Joanne Vanderheyden (Mayor, Strathroy-Caradoc),  George Thompson (PAC), Nick Stokman (Deputy Mayor, Township of Adelaide Metcalfe), Jessica Van Zwol (St.Clair Region Conservation Authority). Also present but out of frame are ALUS Middlesex’s PAC Chair Tom Heeman, ALUS Middlesex’s Secretary Matt Langford, and ALUS Canada Director of Operations, Lynn Bishop, who took the picture.

The ALUS Middlesex program was established in 2017 in close partnership with ALUS Canada. Their local supporters include Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority, Kettle Creek Conservation Authority, Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority, St.Clair Region Conservation Authority, Upper Thames River Conservation Authority, Middlesex Federation of Agriculture and Tartan Image Designs.

Located in southwestern Ontario, Middlesex County is a largely agricultural area with diverse cropping systems in field, horticulture and livestock, as well as an important rural-urban interface nestled around the city hubs of London and Strathroy.

All ALUS programs work closely with landowners to develop and support projects that are best suited to local needs and priorities. The ALUS Middlesex program aims to help address environmental issues affecting water quality in the Great Lakes, given that the Middlesex region is split between the Lake Huron and Lake Erie watersheds, and that the local Thames River has been identified as priority watershed for Great Lakes health. By managing their marginal lands differently, ALUS participants can create habitat connections, filter water before it enters sensitive wetlands, and enhance wildlife habitat across these critical Canadian watersheds.

The ALUS Middlesex program also aims to re-establish tallgrass prairie ecosystems, improve buffer areas, manage wetlands and establish other projects providing ecosystem services such as flood mitigation, carbon sequestration and pollinator support. Through their ALUS projects, ALUS Middlesex participants will help to produce cleaner water, cleaner air and more biodiversity, including pollinator habitat, for the benefit of everyone in surrounding communities.

For more information, contact the ALUS Middlesex Program Coordinator, Hillary Heard, by phone at 519-282-9228, or by email at [email protected] Follow ALUS Middlesex on Twitter at @ALUSMiddlesex. Their web page is on the website (click here to visit).

Stay tuned for more news from ALUS Middlesex!

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