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Erica Barkley
Assistant Ecologist – Southeast Zone – Ontario Parks


This is a common question. A forest may have large trees, but is it TRULY old growth? There is no single definition for old growth forests in Ontario since forests are all so different. In some cases, old growth may refer to undisturbed forests that stand untouched over a long period of time. Others say tree age is a more defining feature of old-growth. While counting tree rings can help age a forest, here are a few easy features anyone can look for while walking through old-growth woods:

...continue reading "Is it an ‘old-growth’ forest?"

Stuart Anderson
EVC Placement

On Saturday, September 22, 2018, I was pleased to attend the 11th annual Prairie Day hosted by Alderville Black Oak Savanna (ABOS). The event was well attended and had all kinds of activities in which to take part and learn. Bird banding, nature walks, and art displays were just a few of the things kids and adults alike could observe and participate. The weather held out, making it a great day of connecting with nature in the great outdoors.

Photo by Stuart Anderson

...continue reading "My Prairie Day 2018"

Haya Aldoori
EVC Bootcamp

Planting at ABOS
Photo by Mark Bernards

There was not a single cloud in the bright blue sky and the hot summer sun was shining down on the prairie with all of its might. Crouched down surrounded by wildflowers, you could hear the buzzing of the bees and the tall grass swaying slowly in the wind. With hands covered in the sandy soil, another New Jersey Tea plant goes into the ground.

...continue reading "Home Is Where The Butterflies Are"

Mya Van Woudenberg & Alanna Evans
EVC Bootcamp

When you live in the big city, it’s pretty easy to feel bogged down in the concrete jungle. Thankfully, just an hour and half east of Toronto, lies one of Ontario’s hidden treasures - the Rice Lake Plains. Not only are the plains home to some of Ontario’s last remaining prairies and savannas, but you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a different province as you stroll through these natural gems! Best of all, they’re all free to explore!

...continue reading "Top 5 Surreal Places to Visit in the Rice Lake Plains"

Cobourg, ON – This spring, experts will return to conduct the ninth season of prescribed burns on the Rice Lake Plains. Partners of the Rice Lake Plains Joint Initiative are hosting a Prescribed Burn open House on March 3rd from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Harwood Fire Station (5424 Front St). A presentation will occur at 6:00, with representatives from organizations planning prescribed burns in the County available to answer questions afterwards. ...continue reading "Rice Lake Plains Prescribed Burn Open House scheduled for March 3rd"


Nature Conservancy of Canada, Hazel Bird Nature Reserve

On January 17, 2012, Canada's Minister of the Environment, the Honourable Peter Kent, announced the Nature Conservancy of Canada's successful acquisition of the Hazel Bird Nature Reserve - 117 hectares of land in Hamilton Township in Northumberland County, Ontario. This project was secured in part with funding from Environment Canada's Natural Areas Conservation Program.  ...continue reading "Featured Property"

Hazel Bird Trail

On a crisp fall day in early October twenty donors, volunteers, and neighbours gathered at the Nature Conservancy of Canada's (NCC) Hazel Bird Nature Reserve to celebrate the opening of brand new trail. ...continue reading "Nature Conservancy of Canada Announces Launch of New Trail"

On a recent sunny and cold winter's day more than 70 participants took part in a bird conservation workshop hosted by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and the Rice Lake Plains Joint Initiative. This free event was held on Saturday February 6th at the Alderville Black Oak Savanna Ecology Centre. Interested landowners from Northumberland and surrounding counties learned about bird species at risk throughout the Rice Lake Plains. Willow Beach Field Naturalist Executive member Ben Walters who is also a Ph.D. candidate at Trent University, Peterborough, provided insight to the changing bird populations of the area. He combed hundreds of ornithological records dating back to the 1820s to produce an in-depth look at Birds of the Rice Lake Plains. ...continue reading "Here’s what we’re doing for Species at Risk…"