Striving to improve stewardship of our natural resources
Legacy Land Trust Society hosts several workshops
Tuesday, Sep 05, 2017 06:00 am
Conserving our natural resources and becoming better stewards of the land goes a long way towards maintaining and potentially even improving the quality of the water in the Red Deer River.
This was a key message shared with the public during several community workshops organized last month by the Legacy Land Trust Society, said executive director Tammy Mather.
Through partnerships with Project Blue Thumb, Cows and Fish, Alternative Land Use Services and the Red Deer River Watershed Alliance, open houses were held at community halls in James River, Eagle Hill, Bergen and Sundre with funding from the provincial government as well as the Alberta Real Estate Foundation.
The primary goal of the sessions was two-pronged — to inform people about the society itself and that the non-profit organization is available as a resource to conserve land, as well as to introduce them to the provincially funded program called Water Quality and You, said Mather.
“Water is one of the most integral parts of life,” reads a press release from the society.
“Being located so close to the headwaters of numerous rivers and creeks gives Mountain View County and its residents a unique perspective on how water can impact our lives. From massive and devastating floods, to parching droughts, our lives are intrinsically tied to our relationship with water. By conserving our landscapes, not only do we get to see the land flourish, but also our wetlands, creeks, and rivers.”
The society has the ability, as a qualified organization, to work collaboratively with landowners — whether private or agricultural — to put in place a conservation easement, which is essentially a tool to help them make the owners’ vision for the future of their land a reality, said Mather.
Although the workshops were lightly attended, which she attributed to the timing during the summer holidays combined with beautiful weather that no doubt had people out either enjoying the outdoors or busy working in the fields, those who did come out brought with them good questions and feedback.
The society got its first and to date only conservation easement project in 2015, when it also received its charity, non-profit status. The organization does not so much get involved in any kind of major reclamation efforts, but is rather mainly focused on land with existing features that can be protected, she said.
“Once the projects are put in place, there’s ongoing stewardship of the land.”
The society has, since its first official conservation easement, been actively pursuing seven other projects that have kept its members busy, she said.
“We don’t have to limit ourselves. We’ll grow accordingly to who’s interested in partnering with us and what we can do to help out.”
The society was initially established in response to a study that identified a need. Before it was founded, there was no land trust in Mountain View County, she said.
“We want to emphasize that we are here to work with the community,” she said.
“We don’t take land and own it and tell people what to do with it. We partner to help steward and conserve the land.”
The trust and its partners can offer residents who wish to voluntarily work towards improving their water supply, riparian areas and ecologically sensitive lands the tools they’ll need to achieve that objective, the press release said.
“Each individual can make an impact, and Legacy is here to assist them in meeting their overall conservation goals.”