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News from May 2021

New Acreage Owner, Big Stewardship Plans

May 11, 2021

Acreage owner Hayley Rothenberg On April 8, 2021, Green Acreages Coordinator, Milena McWatt, joined Lorraine Taylor, Horticulturist & Conservation Coordinator for Lac Ste. Anne County, on a site visit to acreage owner Hayley Rothenberg’s three-acre property.

New to acreage living, Hayley moved to her property in September 2020. When asked why she chose to move she explained, “I knew I wanted to live on the land; live more simply.” Hayley is interested in living in harmony with the landscape and being more self-sufficient and, using the principles of permaculture, plans to include orchards, a food forest as well as protein production.

The philosophy behind permaculture is one of working with, rather than against, nature.

“I knew if I was going to do it, the time was now and then I found this beautiful, quiet, hard-working homestead,” Hayley adds.

Despite being a new acreage owner, Hayley has big plans to implement stewardship initiatives on her land to protect and conserve the valuable natural assets such as water, soil, air and wildlife associated with her property, but she knew she would need some guidance.

So, after attending a Green Acreages workshop, Hayley reached out to her local rural municipality and Land Stewardship Centre for some advice on how to improve her property through best management practices and address some issues she is experiencing. Facing seasonal flooding on her acreage, close to her outbuildings, Hayley has decided to apply to the Green Acreages Program project funding opportunity to implement a rain garden that will include elements of permaculture and food production. This project will help mitigate flooding and manage spring runoff from a slope on her acreage while also producing vegetables for her household. Rain gardens are one innovative way to enhance the natural watershed function of an acreage property and reduce the impacts of flooding and drought.

Hayley describes her experience with the Green Acreages Program with excitement.

“Wow, what can I say? It has been a gift to discover the program because I had just moved to my property and hardly knew anything. It was like learning a new language. The workshop helped me get my foot in the door to understand stewardship and it’s been growing since.”

Hayley says she is still on a steep learning curve but is grateful for the fantastic resources in the Green Acreages workbook, and Lorraine’s and Milena’s support, especially during the site visit, where they helped her figure out how to move forward with the funding project.

“I couldn’t even think it through without their support,” adds Hayley. “I didn’t know where to begin or even know what I needed to do to help the water issue that was occurring. I’m slowly chipping away at it and now hope to make the deadline for the application process to begin work on a rain garden that incorporates edibles. I think [it’s] pretty incredible the Green Acreages Program is available to us.”

With funding from Alberta’s Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program, the Green Acreages Program is accepting applications from acreage, hobby farm and recreational property owners across Alberta for cost-shared stewardship projects in 2021. Eligible projects must enhance natural watershed function and mitigate the effects of flooding and drought.

Learn more and apply today.


Stewards in Motion Recap Plus What’s Next

May 10, 2021

Stewards in Motion is more than just a series of events. It is a rally call to connect all stewards at a local level, regardless of focus, affiliation or discipline. It is the philosophy that enables the stewardship community and other stakeholders such as municipal government, ENGOs and industry, to think collectively and act locally to protect our valuable, common natural assets.

After 18 years of hosting these events in person, on April 8, 2021, Land Stewardship Centre (LSC) held its very first online Stewards in Motion workshop to motivate stewards to spring into stewardship. We were excited to have 30 people attend this virtual event which began with a presentation from LSC about current initiatives including the Green Acreages, Green Communities and Watershed Stewardship Grant programs.

This was followed by presentations from Trout Unlimited Canada, Rural Routes to Climate Solutions, Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park Society, Weaselhead Preservation Society and Peace Country Beef & Forage Association. As past recipients of Watershed Stewardship Grant funding, during their presentations these groups highlighted what they have been able to accomplish and how the grant funding has helped them achieve their stewardship objectives and Water for Life goals.

Stewards in Motion is a great way to connect, share successes and create awareness of the amazing stewardship efforts under way across Alberta. We will continue to keep in touch with these organizations and look forward to hearing about projects they take on in the future.

Our 2021 Watershed Stewardship Grant recipients will be announced in early June. We look forward to showcasing their initiatives on social media and our website and at a future Stewards in Motion event.

Stay tuned for news about another possible Stewards in Motion workshop this fall.