Introducing the Rice Lake Plains

Welcome to the Rice Lake Plains and the world of habitat conservation in Canada's easternmost prairie landscape! The Rice Lake Plains of Northumberland County is known for its historical tallgrass prairie and oak savannah habitats, cloaking the Oak Ridges Moraine, which itself is part of Ontario's protected Greenbelt. This website will be an ongoing source of information on tallgrass prairie and savanna conservation in the area. It is a place to profile landowners and habitat projects and a way to get the word out about local tours, workshops, events and activities.

The website is brought to you by the Rice Lake Plains Joint Initiative - a partnership of local people, conservation groups and government agencies, all of whom share a vision: a landscape of protected, restored and sustainably managed tallgrass prairie and oak savanna ecosystems amid well-stewarded farmland, forest, wetland and riparian habitats of the Rice Lake Plains region. We are committed to being good neighbours in the community and to actively caring for our lands as a contribution towards a sustainable future.

"A number of exquisite flowers and shrubs adorn these plains, which rival any garden in beauty. The trees, too, though inferior in size to those in the forests, are more picturesque, growing in groups or singly, at considerable intervals, giving a sort of park like appearance." Canadian pioneer writer and early Northumberland County resident Catharine Parr Traill wrote about the natural beauty of the Rice Lake Plains back in the middle of the 1830's. She was writing about a natural prairie landscape that dominated the hills in the middle of the County.

We know these habitats today as tallgrass prairie and oak savanna - ecosystems that thrive in dry, sandy conditions found in this area of the Oak Ridges Moraine. The Rice Lake Plains is home to Canada's easternmost prairie and is now the focus of a multi-partner conservation and stewardship project.

Photo by Alison Clark

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