January 8, 2018 - St. Thomas - The Elgin Clean Water Program provided $77,638 in
grants to 28 environmental stewardship projects in 2017, including 18 wetland creation
or restoration projects.
The Elgin Clean Water Program was initiated in 2012 by the four Elgin Conservation
Authorities to help improve the environmental conditions across Elgin County. "Many
landowners are interested in creating a wetland on their property or implementing
an erosion control project on their farm but the cost can be prohibitive," says
Betsy McClure, stewardship program supervisor for Kettle Creek Conservation Authority
and coordinator of the program. "The Elgin Clean Water Program provides the technical
expertise of CA staff and the financial means to help landowners undertake projects
that will benefit water quality and habitat conditions across the Elgin County."
Randy Dykstra, a Central Elgin farmer, completed a wetland creation project on his
farm. "The Elgin Clean Water Program has been a great way for us to enhance our
Best Management Practices. The water that is filling these wetlands is naturally
being filtered before it enters our waterways," says Randy. "It has been a joy for
our family to regularly walk back and see what wildlife is there. Our children find
everything from tadpoles to turkey tracks."
The Elgin Clean Water Program is supported largely by the County of Elgin, who approved
$40,000 in their annual budget in 2016, as well as long-time funders such as the
Green Lane Community Trust Fund. In addition, CA staff work closely with other funders
such as Ducks Unlimited, the Elgin Stewardship Council and ALUS Elgin to secure
matching funding for landowners.
Applications are now being accepted for 2018 projects. Funds are limited and are
distributed by a review committee. Any landowner in the County can apply for up
to 50% of the costs associated with projects such as erosion control, decommissioning
or upgrading wells, livestock fencing, wetland and riparian habitat restoration
and tallgrass prairie establishment. For more information on the Elgin Clean Water
Program, please contact your local conservation authority or visit www.elgincleanwater.ca.