Protect the Rice Lake Plains

The rolling hills of the Rice Lake Plains lie in the heart of a historical tallgrass landscape that has all but disappeared. The high, sandy hills of the Oak Ridges Moraine once offered vistas of wide expanses of tallgrass prairie and oak savanna dominated by massive black and white oak. Grasses like big bluestem, Indian grass and switchgrass grew more than 2 metres, and a diverse range of wildflowers blossomed. These views of one of Canada’s easternmost prairies were described by Indigenous peoples and early settlers, including vivid accounts by pioneer writer Catharine Parr Traill. Today, these temperate tallgrass prairie and oak savanna ecosystems have virtually vanished. Only 10 per cent of their original size remains in North America, and less than 2 per cent remains in Ontario. And what is left is badly fragmented and overgrown with non-native species.

Current Opportunity: Salt Creek

40 kilometres northeast of Cobourg, on the Oak Ridges Moraine, lies the Salt Creek property, almost 100 acres of black oak woodland – a habitat type that has been all but lost from Ontario. If protected, the woodland would create a buffer to the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Red Cloud School Road property – a restored tallgrass prairie ecosystem that is one of the rarest ecosystem types in the province. Donate today to help protect and create a connected habitat throughout the Rice Lake Plains!

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A Natural Legacy

NCC may direct all or a portion of gifts committed to this project to NCC’s Stewardship Endowment Fund for Ontario. Revenue generated by the Stewardship Endowment Fund provides for long-term management on properties across the province, including NCC conservation lands in the Rice Lake Plains. In the event that this project becomes fully funded or cannot be carried out, your gift will be allocated to the next urgent priority in this natural area.