News Articles

Rice Lake Plains Prescribed Burn Open House on March 18, 2015

March 6, 2015, Cobourg, Ontario


This spring, the Nature Conservancy of Canada is planning a series of prescribed burns as part of habitat restoration on the Rice Lake Plains, in Northumberland County. This will be the tenth year of prescribed burns, all part of a long-term program to restore tallgrass prairie habitat in the area.

Partners of the Rice Lake Plains Joint Initiative are hosting a Prescribed Burn Open House on March 18, 2015 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Harwood Fire Station (5424 Front Street). A short presentation will occur at 6:30 p.m. and representatives from organizations planning prescribed burns in Northumberland County will be available to answer questions.

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New trail opens in Harwood's Nature Conservancy of Canada Hazel Bird Nature Reserve

Karen Longwell

HARWOOD - With a passion for saving the eastern blue bird, Harwood resident Hazel Bird spent countless hours roaming the Rice Lake Plains checking the nest-boxes she built.

Now the public is welcome to walk the trail Ms. Bird once did at The Nature Conservancy of Canada's Hazel Bird Nature Reserve. Ms. Bird died in 2009 and the piece of land she once spent so much time on was acquired by the Nature Conservancy of Canada in 2011. Volunteers worked to restore and protect the property's tallgrass prairie, sand barren, oak woodland and black oak savanna habitats, which are native to the Rice Lake Plains.

The new four-kilometre loop trail, located at 4639 Robson Road, south of Harwood, officially opened on Oct. 8.
The conservancy owns 2,000 acres of land in Northumberland County's Rice Lake Plains but the 290 acres in Hazel Bird Nature Reserve will be a place the public can visit, said Todd Farrell, co-ordinator, conservation biology for the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

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Prairie Day celebrates "incredibly special place"

Trent Hills Independent | Sep 25, 2014

It was a perfect day to celebrate the Alderville Black Oak Savanna. With wind rustling strongly across the landscape and warming sunshine illuminating the rich natural colours of the tallgrass habitat visitors at the seventh annual Prairie Day had a wonderful opportunity to experience the magnificent and rare grandeur of the black oak savanna and tallgrass prairie restoration project.

Part of the Rice Lake Plains Joint Initiative, which includes partners like Alderville First Nation, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, Northumberland Land Trust, Northumberland County, the Lower Trent and Ganaraska Conservation Authorities and Ontario Parks, the day showcased and celebrated the work that's been done across the Rice Lake Plains region to restore and rejuvenate the extremely rare oak savanna and tall grasses that were once so prominent in the area.

The family day featured entertainment, children's crafts, story-telling, exhibits, talks and tours of the site deservedly called the "jewel" of the Rice Lake Plains.

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Greenbelt Foundation funding for Northumberland

Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation are funding projects across Ontario from the Escarpment Eco Park in the Hamilton / Burlington area to environmental workshops in Northumberland.

"The Nature Conservancy of Canada's project aims to garner awareness and support for the Greenbelt in Northumberland County by partnering with Alderville First Nation to host (more) workshops for conservationist guided public tours, school outings, and a Greenbelt Prairie Day in the Rice Lake Plains area," states a media release.

Prairie Day is an annual event at the Alderville First Nation Black Oak Savanna Ecology Centre on County Road '18 near the south shore of Rice Lake, its natural heritage co-ordinator Janine McLeod said in a recent interview.

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