Calgary, Alberta—As the winner of the 2016 Shared Footprint Award, ALUS Canada was among the Eco-Heroes honoured at the 25th annual Alberta Emerald Foundation awards gala, held at Telus Spark in Calgary on June 8, 2016.
“It’s such a thrill to accept the Shared Footprints Award, sponsored by the Alberta Real Estate Foundation,” said Christine Campbell, ALUS Canada’s Western Hub Manager, in her acceptance speech.
“For ALUS, winning the Emerald Award is proof of something we’ve always known: Albertans appreciate the environmental stewardship work that farmers and ranchers are doing, for all our sakes.”
ALUS in Alberta operates within ALUS Canada, a national not-for-profit organization that supports farmers and ranchers producing ecosystem services—such as clean air, clean water, drought and flood mitigation, biodiversity and pollinator habitat—for the benefit of all Canadians.
With the generous support of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, ALUS programs are currently established in six provinces, but it is in Alberta that this community-developed, farmer-delivered program has seen the most rapid growth, with ten municipalities on board and more than 3,500 acres of conservation projects on the ground, so far.
According to Campbell, winning the Emerald Award is also a testament to the dedication of ALUS communities in Alberta. The first three communities to adopt ALUS—Parkland County, County of Vermilion River and Red Deer County—have been instrumental in establishing ALUS as the preferred mechanism for delivering stewardship on the agricultural landscape.
“There is a real need, one that is deeply felt by Canadians, to make sure our farmers and ranchers aren’t left footing the bill for taking care of the land,” says Campbell. “ALUS Canada meets that need.”
ALUS Canada’s Executive Director, Bryan Gilvesy, agrees. Proprietor of a Texas Longhorn ranch featuring several ALUS projects, Gilvesy both walks the walk and talks the talk: “In Alberta, and all across this nation, ALUS farmers are part of the solution for improving the environment for Canadians,” he says. “We provide the opportunity for Canadians to support the producers of ecological services. Through ALUS, citizens can make a real difference on the ground.”
“Wearing this Emerald Award proudly in our caps, we look forward to being able to expand the program throughout Alberta, and across Canada, in the years to come,” says Gilvesy.
Established 25 years ago by the Alberta Emerald Foundation, the Emerald Awards is the only program of its kind in Canada, celebrating environmental achievements across all sectors. http://emeraldfoundation.ca/emerald-awards/
ALUS Canada is a community-developed, farmer-delivered program sustaining agriculture, wildlife and natural spaces for all Canadians, one acre at a time. With the generous support of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, ALUS Canada programs are now established in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec; while the PEI ALUS program is managed by the Province.