The Alternative Land-Use Services (ALUS) team in Norfolk County will participate in a $100,000 grant program sponsored by food processor Danone Canada. The fund will be divided among seven ALUS chapters across Canada.
The cash will be used to reposition 90 acres of marginal farmland to produce environmental benefits. Projects include wetland rehabilitation, the development of pollinator habitat, and the planting of riparian buffers to reduce erosion and nutrient runoff along streams, creeks and rivers. The initiative will also increase biodiversity while improving habitat for wildlife.
“ALUS Norfolk is the longest running ALUS community in Canada and plays an important role in the eastern hub, so I am happy that ALUS Canada is able to provide this additional funding thanks to a new sponsorship from Danone,” said Alyssa Cousineau, manager of ALUS Canada’s Eastern Hub.
The funding is provided under the auspices of ALUS’s New Acre Partnership, which is a vehicle for businesses to channel support for initiatives that produce cleaner air and water and improved wildlife habitat.
Other beneficiaries of the $100,000 grant include ALUS Lac Ste. Anne, Red Deer County, Middlesex, Elgin, East Ontario and Monteregie.
ALUS is based on the principle that owners of marginal land in rural areas should be compensated for devoting this real estate to ecological projects that produce environmental benefits for everyone. The concept was pioneered in Norfolk in 2007 before spreading across the country.
As of March 31, ALUS Norfolk was collaborating with 183 property owners representing 1,500 acres of environmental improvements. ALUS Norfolk says it has an extensive waiting list of willing participants and is poised for rapid growth.
Along with dairy products, Danone Canada also produces plant-based dairy substitutes under the Silk label.