How the Weston Family Foundation helps ALUS make a difference on the ground
The Weston Family Foundation collaborates with Canadian charities to bring about long-term change by furthering world-class research, exploring new ideas, catalyzing innovation and creating tangible benefits for communities.
The Foundation’s generous and long-standing commitment to ALUS has played a critical role in growing ALUS Canada into a national organization, uniting dozens of communities across six provinces.
After providing strong support to the ALUS program for many years, the Foundation announced a new, $5 million grant at a press conference held at on November 4, 2016, at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, officially launching ALUS Canada, A Weston Family Initiative.
“We believe strongly in the ALUS model, which delivers tens of thousands of acres of natural habitats by engaging local farm communities,” said Tamara Rebanks, Chair of the Weston Family Foundation. “We like the fact that all ALUS projects are based on scientific principles and support Canadian communities.”
This three-year grant was followed in 2018 by another three-year grant for the same generous amount, in effect until 2021.
In addition, the Foundation supports ALUS Canada’s Innovation Awards, particularly its biennial Weston Family Ecosystem Innovation Award, recognizing excellence and innovation in scientific research, monitoring or verification of ecosystem services on working farmlands.
In 2018, Mrs. Camilla Dalglish, Director of the Weston Family Foundation, presented the Award to Dr. Wanhong Yang, a Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Guelph who has pioneered innovative research in modelling and quantifying environmental benefits of on-ground conservation projects.
“Dr. Yang’s research offers much-needed insights into measuring the benefits of wetlands for the broader public good,” she said. “My family’s Foundation is pleased to honour him with this award, recognizing his dedication to the conservation of Canada’s agricultural watersheds.”
Previous honorees include Dr. Andrew MacDougall, a Professor at the University of Guelph, in recognition of his innovative research work in pollinators and biodiversity, using as his laboratory vast swaths of tallgrass prairie established by ALUS Norfolk in southwestern Ontario. In 2020, the Award will be presented to another deserving scientist demonstrating outstanding, innovative work in the field of ecosystem services produced on working farmlands.
Learn more about these Awards here: https://alus.ca/home/about-us/awards/