Farmers can now receive annual payments to protect and monitor nature on their lands through the new ALUS Peel Pilot. ALUS, the Region of Peel, Credit Valley Conservation (CVC), and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) have partnered to expand the Peel Rural Water Quality Program in a new three-year pilot project.
“The Region of Peel and TRCA are pleased to support this new partnership,” said Jennifer Innis, Regional Councillor, Chair of TRCA’s Board of Directors, and member of the Peel Agricultural Advisory Working Group. “Building upon the success and reputation of the Peel Rural Water Quality Program, we are excited to extend additional support to farmers to help them manage their land and water to improve soil, water and air quality, and enhance wildlife habitat.”
Local farmers have a long-standing history of working with the Region and conservation authorities to implement soil and water improvement projects on their land for the benefit of nature, their farms, and surrounding communities. Since 2004, the Region of Peel, CVC, and TRCA have delivered the Peel Rural Water Quality Program. Twenty per cent of the farming community in Peel has participated in and implemented environmental projects valued at more than $4.7 million.
“Agriculture is a vital sector in our local economy,” said Mark Eastman, Senior Coordinator, Agricultural Outreach at Credit Valley Conservation. “The pilot recognizes agriculture’s importance while also supporting the ongoing efforts of farmers in caring for the natural areas of their properties. These areas provide important environmental benefits to surrounding communities.”
Stewardship projects that will be supported include native tree and shrub planting, grassland, wetland and stream restoration, livestock fencing, and erosion control structures. These projects deliver important ecological outcomes by creating wildlife habitat, improving soil and water quality, reducing flood risk, and capturing carbon.
“I encourage every farmer to think critically about their land. If you have areas that are environmentally sensitive, struggle to produce a profitable crop, or are inefficient to farm, consider planting native trees or grasses and wildflowers, or constructing a wetland,” said Gary Mountain, Peel Farmer and Chair, Peel Agricultural Advisory Working Group. “With this new partnership, you will receive funding to establish the project and ongoing monitoring and maintenance of the site will be recognized with an annual payment up to $150 per acre, per year.”
Farmers can learn more at aluspeel.ca.