Press Releases

The W. Garfield Weston Foundation Supports Major Growth Of Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS)

Winnipeg, Manitoba (March 20, 2012): Delta Waterfowl is pleased to announce a leading donation from The W. Garfield Weston Foundation in support of the Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) program. With the Foundation's gift of $1.46 million, Delta Waterfowl will create two centres of operations, or hubs, to support the national expansion of the ALUS program.

This is the second major grant from the Foundation in the past year, bringing it's total commitment to ALUS to more than $3 million.

Developed more than ten years ago by Delta Waterfowl Foundation and Manitoba's Keystone Agricultural Producers, ALUS is a community-led, farmer-delivered initiative that promises to revolutionize conservation in this country. The goal is to create a healthy, working landscape that simultaneously sustains agriculture, wildlife and the protection of natural spaces.

Through ALUS, farmers receive payments for delivering a variety of environmental services. Projects include enhanced and protected wetlands, increased native grass cover, wildlife-friendly fencing, pollinator strips and improved riparian areas. ALUS projects are currently established in Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island.

"The Foundation is proud to continue its support of this very important conservation initiative," said Eliza Mitchell, Director, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation. "Farmers are playing a key role in preserving Canada's natural legacy. They are having a great impact on local ecosystems by preserving habitat for endangered species, improving water quality, and reducing soil erosion. Their efforts are important to all Canadians."

The Foundation has supported the ALUS program for more than a decade. This latest donation will support the expansion of ALUS to at least 8 new communities in Ontario and western Canada. Challenge grants will act as a catalyst to stimulate matching funds from other organizations.

"This is a sea change in conservation for this country," says Rob Olson, president of Delta Waterfowl Foundation. "Communities all across the country are lining up to be part of this initiative. There's unprecedented energy and excitement."

Olson says the latest Weston funding will help establish ALUS as a viable addition to conservation efforts across the country.

"Our hope is that the momentum from adding these new communities will grow exponentially," says Olson. "This grant has the impact of allowing us to do 10 years of work in one year. We're very thankful The W. Garfield Weston Foundation is giving us this chance to do it."

The W. Garfield Weston Foundation is a private Canadian family foundation, established in the 1950's by Willard Garfield Weston and his wife Reta. In 1924 Garfield inherited his father's company and during his life established bakeries and other successful enterprises throughout Canada and in many parts of the world. Today, these businesses include the George Weston Limited and Loblaw Companies Limited, companies in food retailing, processing and distribution. The founders believed that as the funds are generated through the hard work and success of these Canadian companies, grants should be given in Canada for the benefit of Canadians. For three generations, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation has maintained a family tradition of supporting charitable organizations across Canada. Today the Foundation directs the majority of its funds to projects in the fields of land conservation, education, and science in Canada's North.