Landowners throughout Red Deer County are taking action to benefit the environment and their businesses. The County has a number of programs that support landowners in adopting practices that are good for the land, for the water, and for their bottom line.
Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS)ALUS Logo
We all depend on ecosystem services, for things like water, air, food, shelter. 

In Red Deer County, land is privately owned. The decisions private landowners make impact the ecosystem that society depends on. 

With ALUS, farmers and ranchers can get paid to produce more ecosystem services on their land. They can be paid up to $40 acre per year.

Video: Keith and Tracy Johnson making things better for their cattle and the environment.

Check out this video from independent film-maker Rueben Tschetter, about the ALUS Program, featuring Red Deer County farmers Derek Mathon and Kevin Ziola

A long term partner in our ALUS Program in Red Deer County is the Alberta Conservation Association.  Find out more at 

For information, contact Ken Lewis or visit
Green Acreages 1Green Acreages
There are more than 6,200 acreages in Red Deer County. Although they vary greatly in size, they face many of the same risks. Whether it is land, water, or air contamination, recognizing these risks will help all landowners.

The program is based on the Green Acreages Guide, a provincial program that assists landowners in identifying and addressing the potential environmental hazards on their property. For example, one very common hazard is a leaking or outdated septic system. This, combined with old or out of use water wells, can be a major risk for ground water contamination.

The program features workshops and one-on-one work, to assist landowners in improving their stewardship. The program may even assist landowners financially, with a 60/40 cost share up to $3,000, if they take actions to reduce environmental risks on their properties.

To bring a Green Acreages Workshop to your community or for more information, contact
Aimee Delaney 

Safe Water Well InitiativeSafe Water Well Initiative
Up to $1,000 is available to help you plug unused and abandoned wells by way of the Red Deer County Agriculture Service. Help protect our aquifers and water supply by plugging old wells. You’ll be keeping your water supply safe!

An abandoned well is a liability. It creates a direct route from the surface to the ground water greatly increasing the chances of contaminating an aquifer. Red Deer County has 11,600 water wells on record plus an unknown number of wells that are off record. We estimate that 20% of these wells may need to be reclaimed.

Your Agricultural Service Board (ASB) and Council recognizes the need and importance of addressing this issue and they want to provide assistance in the form of reclamation information and procedures, help with the growing forward program, and financial compensation through our new Safe Water Wells Initiative.

For information on plugging abandoned water wells, please contact either Agricultural Technician Jordon Smith, or Conservation Coordinator Ken Lewis.

Discover more about plugging abandoned wells from Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development.
Got Grass 1Grazing & Riparian Management
Red Deer County provides information and resources to producers, on managing their pastures, their native range and their riparian areas, for maximum productivity and maximum environmental health. 

Often with other organizations, we host information sessions and field days. We conduct "Riparian Health Assessments" and "Range Health Assessments" with and for interested producers. In addition, Red Deer County has some "try-before-you-buy" units, including an off-stream watering system and electric fencing materials. Farmers and ranchers can borrow these to try them out.

For a video about our free off-site watering demo unit (that you can try out for 3 or more weeks), click here

Riparian Area
A riparian area is the area around or along a water body, between the water and the uplands. It's usually has wetter soils and plants that are adapted to those wet soils.

For information, please contact Conservation Coordinator Ken Lewis.

Environmental Farm Planning
Red Deer County assists producers in all aspects of environmental farm planning, from start to finish and through to action. We also assist producers in keeping their environmental farm plans current.

For more information on Environmental Farm Planning, visit Alberta EFP, or contact Conservation Coordinator Ken Lewis at 403.342.8653.

Shelterbelt 1Trees, Planting and Pruning
Trees give protection from wind for people and livestock, they trap snow and valuable moisture, they provide a home and food for many wildlife species. Red Deer County has several programs that help County landowners plant more trees

Landowners may be eligible to apply for funding to plant trees in riparian areas and other environmentally significant areas. The County's Conservation Coordinator is available to help you access this funding. For example, check out Conservation Partners, or Growing Forward. Contact Ken Lewis

Tree Planting Equipment
The County has free rental of a Tree Planter and a Tree Plastic Mulch Applicator. To book it for your use, contact Roland Krusi at 403.342.8654

​Tree Pruning
Red Deer County has tree pruning fact sheets and available for beginners doing pruning in their yard. For any large pruning please contact a professional certified arborist. For questions regarding tree health, contact Aimee Delaney 
Growing Forward II
Red Deer County is helping producers access funding from the Growing Forward II programs dealing with agriculture and the environment (the On-Farm Water Management Program and the On-Farm Stewardship Program).

Depending on the nature of your operation and what projects you want to do, farms and ranches could be eligible for thousands of dollars. The County assists producers in doing the planning work that is required to access these programs. This includes developing and updating Long Term Water Management Plans, Environmental Farm Plans, and Growing Forward Work Plans.

Discover more on the Growing Forward Website.

Or contact Conservation Coordinator Ken Lewis