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Black Oak Savanna Designated Lands

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Aaniin - Greetings!

Welcome to Canada’s easternmost prairie—and one of the most endangered plant communities in Ontario. Here you will see rare plants and grasses —as well as the rare, threatened or endangered birds, insects and mammals that feed on them. More...


When the Ojibway arrived at Rice Lake circa 1700, they found Haudenosaunee— Iroquoian peoples settled in agricultural villages. The Ojibway saw them burning areas to clear land for crops, and called the area Pemedashkotayang, Lake of the Burning Plains.

In 1835, the Mississauga Ojibway started to settle permanently near Rice Lake, migrating from a Methodist mission on Lake Ontario. By the late 1850s the growth of European settlement and agriculture around Rice Lake had essentially eliminated prairie and savanna. Because of the continued presence of the Mississauga Ojibway at the Alderville mission during this time the largest significant remnant in south central Ontario exists today.

The importance of this tallgrass prairie and oak savanna was formally acknowledged in 2000 when chief and council designated the property as a natural heritage site and continues on-going, committed stewardship.

For more information about Alderville’s history these books are available:

  • BEFORE THE SILENCE: 50 Years in the History of Alderville First Nation
  • WHAT WE HOLD DEAR: Treasured Memories of Alderville First Nation.

Projects & Initiatives

TO KNOW THIS PLACE, 2nd Edition—field guide

Medicinal Plant Garden—planted in 2010, in partnership with Plenty Canada

AFSAR-Enviroment Canada (Species at Risk)

Old field (acquisition and) restoration