For folks interested in how rural agriculture + natural heritage restoration / conservation can support each other, and profitably too, well, i keep directing my out-of-town friends over to the Norfolk Alternative Land Use Service Pilot Project (ALUS).
Currently I only know of ALUS in Norfolk County Ontario (as i like to say, "they have a mature stewardship culture there"), but i like to hope ALUS will become an Ontario-wide Alliance. Especially since, as that page says, "the vast majority of land in southern Ontario is owned by farmers, especially in the Carolinian zone where 97% of land is maintained by farmers."
To get a feel for the kind of innovative stewardship work they’re doing, this page lists some of what's going on ALUS's demonstration farms.
No, really. Click through that last link. There are some cool, exciting and encouraging stewardship initiatives in there I haven't heard or read about anywhere else. For example: "1.39 acres of pollinator habitat in the form of Pollinator Hedgerows - perhaps the most groundbreaking effort of the Norfolk Pilot, the pollinator hedgerow is aimed at finding solutions to restore populations of native pollinators.”
Also, if you (or any of your friends with rural farm properties or stewardship projects) want to learn more about ALUS, here’s an upcoming opportunity:
Friday, March 26th 2010
9:30 am -3:30 pm
ALUS and Ontario's Climate Change Policy: Where does ALUS fit, and why?
Ontario Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Rural Affairs in Guelph, Ontario
The steering committee of the Ontario Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) Alliance would like to invite you to attend “ALUS and Ontario’s Climate Change Policy: Where does ALUS fit, and why?” information session. The session will discuss the role of ALUS in the new world of climate change and carbon markets and will focus on how the ALUS Alliance can work within the new policy context of Ontario to make ALUS a provincial program.
The Ontario ALUS Alliance meeting is a free, all day event. Lunch and light refreshments will be provided. The event agenda will be posted shortly on the Norfolk ALUS website http://www.norfolkalus.com so please visit for more details.
Registration is required and will be on a first come first serve basis. To register, contact Kristen Thompson, ALUS Project Coordinator at (519) 426-5999 ext: 2220 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include any dietary restrictions.