Rocky View County (RVC) is offering a workshop April 20 to help rural landowners begin their stewardship journey by providing the tools, resources, and supports they need to better manage and improve their properties.
According to Milena McWatt, head of the Green Acreages Program at the Land Stewardship Centre, the workshop is intended to help acreage owners improve their properties in a way that “conserves and protects the valuable natural assets such as soil, water, air, and wildlife.”
In previous years, RVC has hosted the workshop in partnership with the Land Stewardship Centre in an in-person format, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they switched to an online platform this year.
RVC representatives will also be presenting during the workshop, providing participants an overview of the municipality’s programs and services available to support them as landowners.
Delaney McNaughton, agricultural services officer for RVC, said she hopes residents can take away inspiration from the workshop and begin improvements on their land, whether they come away with a project idea or gain additional knowledge about rural property stewardship.
“I think it’s just great for learning – it goes over more than just the environmental aspect – but the whole program goes more in-depth on life on an acreage in general, even down to water management,” she said.
The free workshop is open to owners of acreages, hobby farms and recreational properties who are interested in learning more about stewardship, would like to better evaluate their acreages for sustainability opportunities, or map their property’s assets and plan accordingly, McWatt said.
She added there will also be an opportunity for workshop participants to learn about a “unique funding opportunity” they can apply for to help offset the cost of projects on their land. Eligible projects include enhancing natural watershed function, as well as mitigating the risks and impacts of flooding and drought.
According to McNaughton, the online format has been drawing a wider audience than would normally attend the County’s in-person workshops, with a "decent number” of people signing up and attending. She added that continuing in an online-format has been important to help build and grow a sense of community within the county.
“A lot of people have mentioned that our workshops are really good for getting that sense of community,” she said. “There’s great information coming from the people who put [the workshops] on, but they also learn a lot from their neighbours who are doing things, and they might not talk to [them] all the time.
“They often really enjoy that discussion aspect that comes from these workshops – talking to see what’s working for other people who actually have properties in the same municipality as them.”Interested landowners in Rocky View County can sign up for the April 20 workshop, which will be hosted from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at rockyview.ca/events