Congratulations to ALUS Vermilion River on Ten Years of Building Community and Ecosystems in Alberta
Celebrating its tenth year, ALUS Vermilion River (ALUS CVR) is a testament to the strengths of the unique model of community development and ecosystem services delivered by the participants and community members who shape the program. And driving that point home is the community-developed digital project showcase.
“Personally, I am super proud of CVR and our projects. I think the anniversary tour is a great exposé of direct action and what can happen when people on a local level are empowered,” said Sean McGrath, ALUS CVR participant since 2010 and current Partnership Advisory Committee (PAC) chair. “The ALUS CVR program brings a lot of benefits to our community and the work of our participants should be celebrated.”
To celebrate that work, ALUS CVR community coordinator Chris Elder worked with the community to assemble the digital showcase highlighting the successes of the program and its participants with an interactive project tour, documenting the work of bringing cleaner water, cleaner air, and more habitat to the County of Vermilion River, Alberta for the last ten years.
“The 10th Anniversary was an important milestone to celebrate this year,” said Chris. And when it became clear to Chris that on this anniversary there wouldn’t be a way to bring the community together in person, he knew he wanted to experiment with a digital reflection of the community’s journey.
“This virtual showcase project gave us a wonderful new opportunity to share more of the program with a much wider audience in a way that lives on beyond a one-time event,” said Chris. “It is a privilege to work with so many incredible producers in the ALUS program and I wanted to recognize the passion, vision, dedication and hard work that they invest to make our communities better for all of us.”
Helping Chris to capture the video of ALUS projects in Vermilion River was his daughter Olivia and friends Holly and Caitlyn, daughters of Cathie Erichsen Arychuk, Director of Agriculture and Environment for County of Vermilion River.
“I wanted to help put this project together because it was a great opportunity to learn about what ALUS does and the impact it has on the people involved” said Olivia. “Before this experience I thought that ALUS was an organization that just focused on wetlands, but I learned that it is so much more than that.”
ALUS participants across Canada see the land, the water, and the creatures that call it home as an inheritance for future generations. When young people take ownership of what the program means and share the impact it has on them, the value of the ecosystem services that the community delivers grows beyond the investments made in the present.
“I am so happy that I was given the opportunity to be a part of this project. It was such a privilege to visit and interview ALUS producers around the county and learn about what they are doing to benefit the environment, while still farming,” said Olivia. “Over this past summer I have learned so many new things, and I’m so grateful for this wonderful opportunity. I believe that it is crucial for us to find ways to take care of the environment that are practical and manageable, and ALUS is doing just that.”
To see more reflections from Olivia, Holly and Caitlyn on what the program means to young people in Vermilion River, and to explore ALUS Vermilion River on its tenth anniversary visit the Digital Project Showcase.