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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).

We're Hiring a Green Acreages Program Coordinator

Posted January 30, 2020 by LSC

Join the Land Stewardship Centre Team

Reporting to the Executive Director and working closely with all Land Stewardship Centre (LSC) staff and program stakeholders, the Green Acreages Program Coordinator will be responsible for coordination, planning and implementation of the program, distribution of resources and delivery of services offered under the provincial Green Acreages Program.
The efforts of the Program Coordinator will directly contribute to increasing municipal and landowner awareness of, support for and implementation of the Green Acreages Program across Alberta.

Key Responsibility Areas

The Green Acreages Program Coordinator will be responsible for implementing all aspects of the program including, but not limited to:

  • Liaising with rural municipalities for the purpose of supporting the implementation of Green Acreages initiatives in rural municipalities across Alberta.
  • Updating, developing and distributing Green Acreages resources, which will include but not be limited to the Green Acreages Workbooks, Green Acreages Primers and customized Green Acreages Primer Inserts (municipality-specific).
  • Delivering hands-on, facilitated Green Acreages workshops at the request of municipalities.
  • Developing timely and informative stewardship information and articles for use/distribution by municipalities in handouts, newsletters, websites, social media, etc.
  • Working closely with LSC Communications staff to develop program branded materials and resource templates for municipal use, to meet municipal needs, such as Green Acreages Workbook and Primer inserts and/or templates, advertising and poster templates, postcards, fact sheets, etc.
  • Developing and delivering presentations to municipal councils and Agricultural Services Boards (ASBs) as requested.
  • Supporting the implementation of (advice and information resources) and administering the Green Acreages financial incentive program (cost-share funding to implement projects and incent practice change among acreage owners).
  • Attending various events held by partner organizations to promote the program.
  • Developing a provincial inventory of acreage development across Alberta.
  • Building a better understanding of the environmental needs of and determining the beneficial management practices best suited to stewarding acreages/recreational properties.
  • Strengthening relationships with key provincial government ministries and officials and petitioning for support (financial and otherwise) for municipalities in their efforts to extend environmental stewardship to acreage owners.
  • Supporting the outreach and program delivery needs of rural municipalities that wish to provide more services to the acreage/recreational property owners in their jurisdictions.
  • Monitoring the online store, partner requests and distributing Green Acreages program materials (e.g., Primer, Workbook).

Skills and Qualifications

  • Post secondary degree or diploma in Agriculture, Environmental Sciences or similar fields.
  • Two or more years experience in a related field.
  • Understanding and/or knowledge of the environment, conservation and stewardship sectors.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with individuals and/or groups.
  • Excellent organizational, written and oral communication skills.
  • The ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • The ability to prepare and execute program plans with a focus on deliverables.
  • Detail oriented and committed to meeting deadlines.
  • Computer proficiency and strong research skills.
  • Ability to work flexible hours, including some evenings and weekends.
  • Class 5 license (GDL is acceptable) and clean driver’s abstract.
  • Reliable transportation and insurance coverage are required.
  • Knowledge of and skills using GIS software would be an asset.

The position is part-time (approximately 17 hours per week) for a 24-month period beginning April 1, 2020. Travel within the province of Alberta will be required.

Previous experience in the key responsibility areas is required.

Those interested in being considered for this position should send a covering letter and resume to:

Land Stewardship Centre of Canada
Imrie House, 17503 – 45 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T6M 2N3
Fax: (780) 486–9599

We welcome diversity and encourage applications from all qualified individuals. We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted. No phone inquiries.

The deadline for applications is February 28, 2020.

About Us

LSC is an independent, not-for-profit organization that brings people and organizations together to work on common priorities for achieving sustainability on the landscape. LSC facilitates stewardship by improving understanding of healthy ecosystems, supporting community stewardship initiatives and strengthening policies that affect resource and land use. We engage, inform and enable people to become better stewards. Learn about us

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