ALUS Canada relaunches in Waterford, Ontario, where ALUS has established acres of native plants, trees and shrubs. From R to L: Jeff Helsdon (representing MPP Toby Barrett), Bryan Gilvesy (ALUS Canada Executive Director), MP Diane Finley, Norfolk Mayor Charlie Luke, Dave Reid (ALUS Canada Eastern Hub Manager), Casey Whitelock (ALUS Norfolk coordinator), Tracey Boerkamp (Springview Farm), Chris Van Paassen (ALUS Norfolk Chair). (CNW Group/ALUS Canada)

ALUS Looking To Establish Itself In Huron County

The Alternative Land Use Solutions organization, also known as ALUS, was originally founded nationally in 2006 and saw a re-launch last year.

At that time, Eastern Hub Manager Dave Reid presented what the group had to offer to 130 people in Clinton.

He was back talking about the program with Huron County Council last week, looking to make it the 8th community in Ontario to join.

Reid says the first step is getting a legal entity in the county.

“Right now we have $30,000 in funding available to hire a program coordinator. That person would answer to a governing body, the Partnership Advisor Committee, which consists of farmers from the community. They decide on environmental priorities, they decide who to hire, and they decide which projects get approved.”

He notes farmers who are interested in bringing ALUS to their community can contact him by phone at (519) 426-8856, or through email via dave.reid@eastlink.ca.

Reid also says the group last year provided an average of $100,000 to each community as an incentive for farmers to retire their marginal land for natural conservation.

He feels the fact that ALUS is farmer led and farmer driven makes it unique.

Reid also points out that recently the Huron Clean Water Committee recommended the County not get involved with ALUS, but the group has worked with such committees in other communities in the past and has been able to help both accomplish their goals by leveraging funding.