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Social Media Webinar a Hit

Posted March 31, 2020 by LSC

Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no question that social media is a powerful communications tool; one that can be harnessed by community groups to recruit volunteers, encourage participation, raise awareness of their programs, attract donors and much more.

On March 24, 2020 more than 60 people joined our Social Media 101 for Community Groups webinar co-hosted with Synergy Alberta to learn from a variety of experts in social media management and glean tips and tricks and lessons learned in the world of social media.

Check out the individual presentations from each of our speakers:

Stewardship Showcase: Rural Routes to Climate Solutions

Posted March 18, 2020 by LSC

The Stettler & District Community Adult Learning Council received a Watershed Stewardship Grant in 2018 to support their Rural Routes to Climate Solutions initiative. Since receiving the original funding two years ago, the initiative has really taken off. Here’s how the Council is creating a new space for farmers and ranchers in Alberta to tackle climate change issues within the agriculture sector.

Empowering rural communities

In 2018, the Stettler Learning Centre received funding from the Watershed Stewardship Grant (WSG) for their unique Rural Routes to Climate Solutions project. The project recognizes that farmers and ranchers can play a pivotal role in building the low-carbon economy of the future and seeks to empower members of the rural community by providing tools and learning opportunities to reap the benefits of climate solutions for themselves and their communities.

Through a series of workshops and farm field days (including their popular Farming with Biodiversity field day), landowners learned about on-farm climate solutions and climate-positive agricultural land-use practices (including green buildings and energy-use). The workshops provided practical examples of things farmers can do to improve their land, water resources and have a positive impact on climate change.

“Our Rural Routes project was a brand-new idea for us,” shares Derek Leahy, Project Director with the Stettler Learning Centre. “We knew we were on to something special with the project and receiving the WSG funds gave us a boost of confidence.”

Aiming to inspire action by providing information on climate solutions that work best on farms and ranches, Rural Routes has been a real success. Since the project was launched, the Council has hosted more than a dozen workshops, engaging agricultural producers from Athabasca all the way to Picture Butte on climate solutions and positive land use practices.

“Our greatest success lies in the fact that we found a way to have a non-divisive conversation about climate change, creating a space where one didn’t exist before,” explains Derek.

The project also generated a spin-off podcast, which aims to further engage farmers and ranchers in climate solutions. To date, they have produced 29 episodes with over 6,000 downloads and counting.

Continuing the climate conservation

Since receiving the initial WSG funding, the Stettler Learning Centre has continued to increase awareness within the agriculture sector and has garnered additional support from the community and sponsors. They’ve also become a partner in the recently launched Farmers for Climate Solutions, a national alliance of farmer organizations and supporters who believe that agriculture must be part of the solution to climate change. Currently, Rural Routes to Climate Solutions is the only representative from the Prairies involved with this national initiative.

Two years in, Rural Routes continues to build momentum and the project is now expanding its geographic reach beyond central Alberta to other rural communities in the province. In 2020, the Council once again received WSG funding, which will enable them to continue the podcast and expand their efforts.

“Rural Routes to Climate Solutions has grown beyond our wildest expectation thanks to funding from sources like the WSG,” Derek adds.

Check out the Rural Routes podcast and stay up to date with their workshops by following them on Twitter (@ClimateFarmsAB).

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