On May 29, 2015, ALUS Norfolk staff and participants lead 10 students from the University of Waterloo’s Faculty of Environmental Studies on a tour of ALUS projects. The students were in Norfolk County as part of an intensive field course; Restoration in Practice in the Long Point Biosphere. The course focuses on connecting students with restoration practitioners in order to stimulate discussion and examination of different environmental restoration projects.
Kicking off at Chris Van Paassen’s (ALUS Norfolk PAC Chair) farm, the students were introduced to the history of the ALUS program while investigating an enhanced wetland and tall grass prairie planting. At their next stop the group saw two created wetlands and a reforestation project, while landowners Leah and Marty VanTil described their motivations for enrolling with ALUS. The final stop had the students hike through a corn field to learn more about tall grass prairie restoration at Bonnieheath Lavender Estate and Winery. Steve Buehner was on hand to describe the process involved in completing a prescribed burn for tall grass prairie management.
We hope the students had a worthwhile learning experience and will go on to consider the valuable contribution that farmers can make in the world of conservation as they embark on their future careers.