The ALUS Mountain View program marked its five-year milestone in 2020 with a very successful community-wide celebration at Mayfair Cinema.
On February 29, more than 70 people from Mountain View County, Alberta, gathered at the Mayfair Cinema to celebrate the success of their ALUS program.
Attendees included ALUS participants and PAC members with their families, as well as farmers and ranchers interested in learning more about the ALUS program. The event was such a hit that passersby on the street joined these pre-registered guests, bringing the work of ALUS Mountain View to even greater attention within the community.
“On behalf of ALUS Canada, I want to congratulate Lorelee, Brian and the entire ALUS Mountain View community for their dedication and hard work over these last five years,” said Christine Campbell, ALUS Canada’s Western Hub Coordinator. “We look forward to partnering with Mountain View County for many more years to come.”
Since 2015, ALUS Mountain View County has enrolled 1,388 acres into ALUS, for projects now stewarded by 31 participants, including many farming and ranching families. All these projects now actively produce ecosystem services, such as cleaner air, cleaner water, and more biodiversity, to benefit the environment and society at large.
“It is a privilege to work with producers who are passionate about fostering a healthy environment on their farm,” said event organizer Lorelee Grattidge, ALUS Mountain View’s Program Coordinator. “I look forward to seeing the number of ALUS participants across the County grow.”
Mountain View County’s ALUS projects were showcased in a slideshow featuring such ALUS participants as Jerremie and Rita Clyde of Little Loaves Farm (recipient of the Dave Reid award Runner-up prize in 2019 ), as well as ALUS Mountain View PAC Chair Brian Rodger and his wife Teresa Rodger of B&D Simmental, who have a strong personal commitment to ALUS and environmental projects on their farm.
“It is exciting to see the number of participants involved in the ALUS program,” said Rodger, who also emceed the event. “Collectively, we are managing a diversity of ALUS projects, from shelterbelts to fenced-off wetlands, each creating a positive impact on the operation and the surrounding environment.”
The Mayfair Cinema in Olds, Alberta, was the perfect venue to screen the slideshow, as well as two ALUS-related films, “Guardians of the Grasslands” and “The Biggest Little Farm.” Not only was this the first time an ALUS community event was held at a movie theatre, but this was not just any movie theatre. Built in 1925, the Mayfair Cinema has played a central role in the community for nearly a century.
It was in March 2015 that Mountain View County became the fourth Albertan community to embrace ALUS. The ALUS Mountain View program is a partnership between the County and ALUS Canada, A Weston Family Initiative.
ALUS Canada has so far provided more than $190,000 to support this ALUS community, thanks to The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, the Canada Nature Fund for Aquatic Species at Risk, and other national funders.
For their part, Mountain View County has been successful in securing local funding from such sources as the Alberta Conservation Association.
One feature of ALUS Mountain View’s success has been their ability to build partnerships to sustain and grow their positive impact. The program participates in the Mountain View County Riparian Ecological Enhancement Program and partners with such groups as the Sarcee Fish and Game Association, who generously provided birdhouses, bee houses, and bat boxes for attendees to take home.
Congratulations to ALUS Mountain View, and here’s to many more years to come!