Grasslands in Provincial Parks
Pinery Provincial Park
Pinery Provincial Park's oak savanna is the largest in Ontario and one of the largest in North America. This savanna contains many unique species such as dwarf chinquapin oak, wild lupine, Olympia marblewing (butterfly) and eastern hognose snake. Nearly 800 species of plants and 300 species of birds have been recorded.
To restore and maintain the native habitats in the park, several management projects have been undertaken including the removal of planted pine trees and the reduction of the white-tailed deer population. The park's extensive sandy beach and numerous hiking trails are additional attractions. For information on hikes and interpretation programs, drop by the Visitor Centre or check out their website at www.pinerypark.on.ca
Directions: Located 5 km southwest of Grand Bend on Hwy 21. Follow the signs.
Turkey Point Provincial Park
This 300 hectare park on Lake Erie offers visitors a chance to see a classic black oak savanna that is undergoing restoration. In 1992, a prescribed burn program was initiated to eliminate the shrubby and herbaceous plants that were filling in the savanna. The planted pines are also being thinned.
The park contains black oak savanna, oak-pine woodland and prairie openings, habitats that were once common in this region. Fern-leaved false foxglove, cylindrical blazing-star, green milkweed and bird's-foot violet are just some of the interesting plants found here. The park is also an excellent place to view a variety of birds including waterfowl, bald eagle, snowy owl and sandhill crane in season.
Directions: From Simcoe, take Hwy 24 south to Regional Road 10 and follow the signs. The park is west of Normandale and east of St. Williams.