Farmers and community members came together to celebrate the official launch of ALUS Middlesex and all its potential ecosystem benefits
On September 18, 2019, at Sunningdale Golf Course in London, Ontario, 45 community members gathered to celebrate the official launch of ALUS Middlesex, the latest community to join the ALUS initiative, and to draw attention to the possibilities of the program for farmers and ranchers in the county.
“The ALUS Program was brought to Middlesex County by a very committed group of local farmers,” said Schelock to the gathered community members. “Speaking for the entire ALUS Canada team, we look forward to working closely with Peter and ALUS Middlesex.”
Work to enhance ecosystem services in Middlesex County will be led by local ALUS Program Coordinator Peter Moddle and the ALUS Middlesex PAC members.
Peter worked with the PAC and ALUS Canada’s Eastern Hub Manager, Casey Schelock, to host area farmers and land owners at the successful launch event, which displayed the strengths of community-driven conservation work by relaying the progress of several ALUS demonstration farm projects that are already on the ground in Middlesex.
The event also provided details to the farmers in attendance about the sort of ALUS projects they could undertake to reduce the phosphorus load entering the Lake Erie watershed.
“ALUS Middlesex will provide many opportunities for tackling issues such as improving Great Lakes water quality and reversing habitat loss,” said Schelock.
The charge to address nutrient runoff into Lake Erie requires a massive, coordinated effort to address the issue at source; ALUS participants could play a significant role in capturing contaminants before they enter streams and waterways with ALUS riparian buffer zone projects.
The promise of these efforts, and the dedicated work of farmers, PAC members and program coordinators, are the pillars that support for ALUS projects across Canada. As Schelock explained, ALUS’ work in Middlesex wouldn’t be possible without participants and funders making sure that projects become a reality.
“Through Environment Canada’s Great Lakes Protection Initiative (GLPI), ALUS Canada will provide funding for projects in the Medway Creek watershed that target phosphorus reduction,” said Schelock. “ALUS Canada is grateful for support from funders such as these, which allow us to have such a beneficial impact on the ground.”
Funding from GLPI and the Ontario Trillium Fund will ensure that ALUS Canada can build new community partnerships, such as the new ALUS Middlesex community. Read more about OTF’s support of ALUS Canada here.
“ALUS projects benefit the entire Great Lakes Basin by improving water quality, producing cleaner air and creating more wildlife habitat,” said ALUS Canada CEO Bryan Gilvesy. “We invest in farmers, ranchers and community partners to provide effective solutions to some of the biggest environmental problems of our day.”
Along with a suite of important ecosystem benefits, new ALUS projects will help improve and enhance riparian areas, wetlands and water quality in Ontario’s streams, rivers and, ultimately, the Great Lakes.
Read more about the launch of ALUS Canada’s GLPI partnership in 2018 here.
For more information on ALUS Middlesex, visit their ALUS webpage.