ALUS in Leduc County
With information from ALUS Canada
The ALUS Wetaskiwin-Leduc team showcased its first set of ALUS projects during a public tour on Sept. 19. The tour took place on Pearl Gregor’s farm in Leduc County. Pearl implemented her ALUS projects in 2016, during the first year of the ALUS Wetaskiwin-Leduc program.
Pearl and her husband purchased their farm in 1973, and then began a pastured beef cow/calf operation. After her husband passed away, Pearl has maintained the farm with help from family and neighbours. The farm’s 211 acres provide the capacity for 70 head of cattle, but Pearl has downsized to 20 head in recent years in response to recurring drought.
Pearl has enrolled a modest amount of acres in ALUS, but these acres pack a punch. Pearl’s ALUS projects are new fencing to exclude cattle from two wetlands, an indirect watering system for cattle and a plantation of willow cuttings along the eastern wetland.
These ALUS projects are producing ecosystem services with important benefits for the community. Excluding cattle from the wetlands produces cleaner water and allows native vegetation to return, enhancing biodiversity. This increased biodiversity is already becoming apparent, particularly in the eastern wetland where ducks are nesting and a pair of beavers have taken up residence.
The ALUS Wetaskiwin-Leduc program is a partnership between Leduc County, the County of Wetaskiwin and ALUS Canada, A Weston Family Initiative—a national charitable organization dedicated to supporting farmers and ranchers who produce cleaner air, cleaner water, more biodiversity and other ecosystem services in their communities.