About

Who We Are

The Agroforestry & Woodlot Extension Society (AWES) is a non-profit organization with the mission of increasing awareness of the environmental, social and economic values of agroforestry and woodlots across the landscape. Our board members represent diverse sectors, including municipal and government, industry, and other non-profit organizations. With guidance from our board, AWES staff promote responsible agroforestry and woodlot management by providing extension/education, and support to landowners and municipalities on sustaining health forested areas on agricultural, municipal and public land in Alberta.

 

History

Today, AWES is an independent non-profit organization with a diverse membership that shares the common goal of encouraging sustainable forest management. AWES works in partnership with conservation organizations, municipalities, and rural citizens to conserve and restore using trees. AWES does not receive operational funding from the provincial or federal government. Our programs and services are funded through grant programs, corporate partnerships, and through our membership.

“Agroforestry”  – Has become a large part of what our organization works to develop. The decision to add this term to our name was spurred by recognition of the prevalence of agricultural activities within and around privately forested areas, and the importance of finding sustainable ways of integrating land-uses that are traditionally seen as distinct: agriculture and forestry. Prior to this organizational transition in 2010, AWES went by the Woodlot Extension Program (WEP).

This name dates back to the late 1990s, where representatives from government, industry, and conservation agencies realized they shared a common goal in encouraging the sustainable management of the more than 3.6 million hectares of privately owned forested land in Alberta.