Wetland at VanTil Farm © Lisa Richardson
Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) is a unique incentive program that recognizes the role farmers and ranchers play in producing both food and a healthy environment. Supported by Ontario Nature and local communities, ALUS is a voluntary program that allows for community-led, farmer-delivered conservation initiatives.
Through ALUS, farmers receive payments to conserve and restore natural features such as wetlands, creeks, shorelines, native grasses and trees, and unique ecosystems like tall grass prairie and oak savannah. In this way, parcels of farmland are converted into habitat for wildlife.
With this program, we have an opportunity to respond to the dual crises of climate change and biodiversity loss by engaging those who own and manage most of the land in southern and eastern Ontario.
ALUS Canada is a national organization with programs in six provinces to date, including seven Ontario communities: Norfolk, Elgin (formerly Bayham), Grey-Bruce, Ontario East, Lambton, Peterborough, and Middlesex, with two more coming on board in the near future.
For more information on the ALUS projects within Ontario and across Canada please visit www.alus.ca.
If you are interested in learning more about the ALUS program in Ontario, please email Emma Horrigan, Ontario Nature’s conservation projects and education manager.