Alderville Black Oak Savanna

What is the Alderville Black Oak Savanna?

The Alderville First Nation Black Oak Savanna (ABOS) and Tallgrass Prairie is a 162 acre site on the edge of the Oak Ridges Moraine, near the southern

shores of Rice Lake. The site supports two types of endangered grassland habitats: tallgrass prairie and oak savanna. Why are these grassland

ecosystems so important? Much like forests and wetlands, grassland habitats have decreased dramatically. Today, less than 3 % of these grasslands

persist in Ontario and North America. Grasslands in Ontario that have survived are typically small, fragmented and highly degraded. The ABOS site is

the largest intact tract of native grassland habitat left within the Rice Lake Plains ( and plays a key role in the future restoration

of this unique eco-region. ABOS offers tours to schools academics and other interest groups for a small fee used directly for habitat improvement

efforts. ABOS is staffed by qualified ecologists, biologists and technicians who in co-operation with our partners and local knowledge- holders in

support of hands-on and placed based learning experiences around a group’s interests/focus. If you are interested in tours or would like more

information please feel free to contact us at

The Alderville Black Oak Savanna’s mission is to:

• Preserve, restore and expand rare grassland habitats

• Educate and extend related/revenant environmental information to the public and community members

• Provide a high-quality and diverse research site

A brief history of the Black Oak Savanna

The Black Oak Savanna was founded in 1999 with the help of local

artist, Elder and biologist Rick Beaver. The land comprising the ABOS

site was designated for development. Mr. Beaver noticed a mix of rare

plant species that are specific to prairie and savanna ecosystems on

site, and has been instrumental in the preservation, conservation and

protection of what we now know as ABOS.

A brief history of prescribed burns

The Ojibway people, who have inhabited the land for many

generations, knew this region as ‘Pemadashcoutayang’ or ‘Lake of the

Burning Plains. This name reflects the important role fire that played

on these lands. Fire was used in a multitude of different ways, the

most common was to clear land for both agriculture and hunting.

Wildlife was attracted to the new green growth of the grasses that

came after a spring burn. It was this practice, which continues today,

that helped provide conditions necessary for the preservation and

maintenance of ABOS grasslands

Species at risk at the Black Oak Savanna

Species at risk (SAR) are plants and animals of concern because of a decline in their populations and numbers and are at risk of extinction. Alderville

First Nation is home to over 30 SAR and endeavors to ensure that these species have the appropriate habitat, and thereby improving overall

ecosystem diversity, resiliency and health.

For more information visit

Contact us at 905.352.1008 or