ALUS helps produce cleaner water on 600 acres of communal grazing land in PEI.
As a non-profit organization, the Evangeline Community Pasture provides communal grasslands where its members can graze their livestock during the summer months. As an ALUS participant, the group produces ecosystem services—like cleaner air, cleaner water and more biodiversity—that benefit everyone in PEI.
Located near the community of Wellington, PEI, Evangeline Community Pasture manages 600 acres (about 240 hectares) of grazing lands, currently accommodating 700 head of cattle.
The group decided early on to keep members’ cattle out of the wetlands and streams running though their communal pastures. They also implement environmentally sound pasture-management techniques, such as rotation and non-tillage.
Today, the Evangeline Community Pasture maintains a total of nearly 12 km of riparian fencing that prevents pastured livestock from watering directly in streams and wetlands, along with five gravity-powered stations watering stations, two solar-powered stations and another two watering sites that utilize well water.
The PEI ALUS program supports Evangeline Community Pasture with an annual payment to help cover the cost of ongoing management and maintenance of these alternative watering systems, resulting in better wildlife habitat and cleaner water for the community at large.
“It is important to us to protect water quality for fish and communities downstream,” said Melvin Gallant, the organization’s pasture manager, “but we would not be able to maintain these stream-protection projects on our own: financial assistance from the PEI ALUS program is much appreciated.”
Having pioneered the idea of restricting livestock’s access to sensitive streams and wetlands, Evangeline Community Pasture was instrumental in having the practice adopted province-wide. PEI is the first—and remains the only—province in Canada to have completely eliminated livestock’s access to waterways.
In honour of their significant accomplishments, Evangeline Community Pasture was awarded the 2002 Soil Conservationist of the Year Award by the PEI Soil and Crop Improvement Association.
“We are very proud of what we have accomplished in our pastures,” said Gallant.
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