Don’t be alarmed if you see smoke today. RBG, with Lands and Forests Consulting, are carefully performing 2 controlled burns to improve tallgrass prairie and savannah habitats. Princes Point & the east end of the Anishinaabe waadizwin trail will be closed. When RBG preforms controlled burns, they are completed with skill and care. Small sections are burned gradually, giving wildlife enough time to vacate the area. Additional volunteers and staff are present to rescue any wildlife that may need help.
About tallgrass preservation
A visit to Cootes Paradise’s south side and a walk along the Princess Point Trail (~1km) takes you through two rare habitat types, Tallgrass Prairie and Oak Savanah. A series of interpretive signs will teach you about the ecology of these habitats and their connection to the location’s aboriginal history. Almost 99% of our region’s prairies and savannahs were lost after European settlement. Today, RBG’s nature sanctuaries contain extremely valuable pockets of remnant oak savannah and tallgrass prairie habitat. These remaining ecosystems are under threat from succession to forest, invasive species and a changing climate.
Prairies and savannahs also house a high diversity of Ontario’s rare and endangered flora and fauna, another of many reasons to maintain and restore the integrity of these ecological communities. Ecological disturbance such as fire is critical to maintain meadow habitats.
Prairie plants have evolved deep root systems to adapt to fire and drought. Without fire, shrubs and trees invade and shade the prairie flowers and grasses, eventually converting the prairie into a completely different ecosystem. To prevent that scenario, we prescribe spring burns that introduce fire in a way that is highly controlled and safe resulting in renewed habitat for rare species.