Fostering Resilience within Alberta’s Rural Communities

With the continued support of the Alberta Real Estate Foundation, ALUS has been able to deepen its partnership with local communities, promoting sustainable growth in Alberta

Wetland Tour in ALUS Mountain View County.

Wetland Tour in ALUS Mountain View County in 2019.

December 6, 2021 — Thanks to the Alberta Real Estate Foundation’s grant, over the last two years, ALUS was able to collect, synthesize and articulate the current and potential value proposition of the ALUS program in Alberta, streamlining program delivery and achieving greater environmental restoration and conservation.

“ALUS’ innovative ways of using marginalized lands and building natural infrastructure to help mitigate flood, drought and enhance water quality directly protects Alberta real estate and values,” says Patti Morris, Executive Director, Alberta Real Estate Foundation.

“With funding from the Alberta Real Estate Foundation, ALUS strengthened its coordination and collaboration with partner municipalities, contributing to the resilience and sustainability of Alberta’s agricultural real estate, benefitting us all,” adds Patti Morris, Executive Director, Alberta Real Estate Foundation.

ALUS interviewed and surveyed municipal leaders, stakeholders such as Cows and Fish, as well as farmers about their resilience objectives and stewardship concerns to better support them through the ALUS program. Municipal decision makers from existing ALUS communities were given insight into how ALUS projects function as green infrastructure to mitigate flood and drought impacts.

Feedback from landowners and municipal leaders also resulted in other significant outcomes. ALUS refined its policies, focus and approach to better meet local resilience goals. It also formed new relationships with farmers and municipalities interested in natural infrastructure projects and enhanced its community network, allowing farmers and ranchers to connect and share best practices.

ALUS also wanted to gain further understanding of why landowners participate in the program and what benefits are most important to them. More wildlife sightings, enhanced resilience to drought and flood and increased water quality and water retention were among the top benefits.

Through this process, ALUS was then able to enhance the onboarding of new communities to strengthen our collective success.

Welome to 5-year celebration

Program Coordinator Lorelee Grattidge and Jane Fulton (Mountain View County’s Assistant Director of Legislative, Community & Agricultural Services) welcomed more than 70 guests to ALUS Mountain View’s five-year anniversary celebration in 2020.

The Alberta Real Estate Foundation’s grant made it possible for ALUS to offer strategic input and information that champions resilience in communities, with the objective to inform decisions on topics, such as natural infrastructure, land use patterns and planning, outreach to agricultural producers, surface water management, ecological connections and economic matters.

“Alberta’s farmers and ranchers are critical to the health of the land, water and economy. AREF’s support has made it possible for ALUS to deepen its engagement with these essential members of our communities, making them stronger and more resilient,” says Bryan Gilvesy, ALUS CEO.

Participant Profiles
Read these participant profiles for stories about what ALUS is doing on the ground:

ALUS Wetaskiwin-Leduc PAC members.

ALUS Wetaskiwin-Leduc PAC members in 2021.

Ron Toonders, Switchgrass for Grassroots Resilience

Ron Toonders, Switchgrass for Grassroots Resilience

Farmers like Ron Toonders are building resilient practices that benefit nature and the agricultural landscape in Ontario   This photo depicts the root system of switchgrass, Panicum virgatum. (Grown at The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas) In the hot summer months,...