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News from November 2020

Green Acreages: One, Two, Three, Four...

November 10, 2020

According to the last census data, rural residential landowners account for 14% of our province’s population – a growing proportion of the rural population in Alberta.

And, as the number of rural residents increases, they will have a greater impact on the state of Alberta’s soil, water, air and wildlife resources through the cumulative effects (changes to environmental, social and economic values caused by the combined effect of past, present and potential future human activities) of their land management practices.

In addition to the resource development, education and outreach you are familiar with from the Green Acreages program, we have also begun to gather data to develop an inventory of acreage development across Alberta (region by region).

In the coming months, Milena McWatt will be reaching out to rural municipalities across Alberta to collect information on the number of acreages (20 acres and less) within their respective jurisdictions.

“We’re not gathering any personal information. We just want to understand the scale and scope of acreages in Alberta,” explains Milena. “If we are better informed, we believe cumulative effects at an acreage level can be better identified, considered and managed more consistently, and we can be more targeted in our collective efforts to ensure acreage owners have all the information/resources they need to assess and understand the impacts that the decisions they make on their property are having.”

Learn more about Green Acreages. For more information, don’t hesitate to reach out to Milena.

Green Acreages: Taking Learning to a New Level

November 10, 2020

Central to our efforts this year was the ability to deliver virtual Green Acreages workshops.

Since spring, we delivered eight virtual Green Acreages workshops to more than 120 acreage owners in partnership with workshop hosts Brazeau County, Clearwater County, Mountain View County, Rocky View County, Red Deer County, Parkland County, Lac Ste. Anne County and Sturgeon County.

At these virtual workshops, participants learned how they can better manage and improve their properties by evaluating and mapping property assets and planning meaningful stewardship activities. Attendees also learned about municipal support programs, how to access funding to help with stewardship projects and they received a copy of the comprehensive Green Acreages workbook, compliments of the hosting municipality.

Here’s what some Green Acreages workshop participants had to say:

“[The workshop] helped me figure out how to identify and achieve my goals for my property,” Clearwater County resident.

“The idea that, as acreage owners, we are stewards of the land is now more clear to me,” Rocky View County resident.

“The Green Acreages workbook is a great source of information. It was interesting to hear about other people’s plans for their acreages,” Brazeau County resident.

“The Green Acreages workbook provides a solid foundation for us to steward our property,” Red Deer County resident.

Missed a workshop?

Reach out to Milena McWatt, Green Acreages Program Coordinator, who will be happy to talk with you about your acreage stewardship journey. You can also purchase the Green Acreages workbook through our online store.

Green Acreages: Money, Money, Money

November 10, 2020

For the first time ever, the Green Acreages program is able to offer funding to acreage owners for implementing stewardship projects on their properties.

Thanks to WRRP, we have the opportunity to directly support acreage, hobby farm and recreational property owners across Alberta by cost-sharing on eligible stewardship projects. Under the Green Acreages funding program, acreage owners may receive up to $2500 for eligible projects that help mitigate flooding and/or drought on their properties.

Eligible projects could include:

  • Projects that enhance natural watershed function
  • Wetland enhancements, such as enhancing riparian and upland vegetation associated with wetlands
  • Stormwater management, such as erosion controls, planting vegetation, wetland enhancements or construction, hydrologic function enhancement for the watershed (may include planting, contouring, wetland construction), floodplain restoration, low-impact developments (such as rain gardens and bioswales)
  • Riparian zone enhancements through planting and buffers
  • Shoreline remediation and/or re-naturalization, such as planting native species, reinforcing shoreline through soil bioengineering and other natural methods
  • Erosion reduction measures (e.g., shoreline or riparian naturalization with native plants, establishing a buffer of native plants between landscaped areas and bodies of water, and re-establishment of shorelines through soil bioengineering and other natural methods)
  • Exclusion fencing, off-site watering systems and stream crossings (e.g., to keep livestock out of water bodies and away from riparian areas)
  • Use of native species in planting initiatives

Green Acreages project funding is available until 2021. Winter is a great time to submit your application and start planning so you can hit the ground running in spring 2021.

The easy to use application form is available online and you can always reach out to Milena, the Green Acreages Program Coordinator, if you have questions or want to discuss a potential project before submitting your application.