ALUS Norfolk Engages Environmental Leaders of Tomorrow

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.


University of Waterloo Students tour a constructed wetland as part of an environmental restoration field course in Norfolk County. Landowners Leah and Marty VanTil hold wine from the Ontario South Coast Wineries and Growers Association, presented as a gift from the students in appreciation for their time.


ALUS Norfolk PAC Chair Chris Van Paassen describes the ALUS program to University of Waterloo students while touring an enhanced wetland on his farm.


Steve Buehner describes a prescribed burn to students from the University of Waterloo from the edge of his 13 acre tall grass prairie project.
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A profile of ALUS Norfolk participants Leah & Marty VanTilMarty & Leah VanTil with their ALUS wetland in the background. Credit: ALUS Norfolk.Located in Port Dover, Ontario, Leah and Marty VanTil’s 40-acre farm includes rolling hills and shallow valleys....

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