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Welcome to the Tallgrass Ontario (TgO) Website

The extensive content on our website is divided into three main sections. Each page has an expanded menu for its section in the left sidebar.

About TgO is where you will find information about our organization and how you can support our projects and initiatives.

Science and Resources is where you will find information about how to ID a grassland and how to establish and maintain your own grassland. There is also a publications sections with lists of recommended reading and links to reference materials, factsheets and our Bluestem Banner newsletter.

Places, People and Projects is where you will find information about what’s new and upcoming events. There is also a volunteer opportunities section and information about our projects and grassland places.

Download the latest edition of the Bluestem Banner (pdf) by clicking on the image to the left.  Go to the Bluestem Banner page for archived editions.

Prairie & Savannah Funding Application Form

In honour of Mary Gartshore
For more information please go to the Prairie & Savannah Funding page.

NEW! – Questions and Answers

If you have a question about establishing or maintaining tallgrass prairie please e-mail One of our directors will get back to you. We’ll post the responses on the Q&A page.

What’s New

Three new people have joined the Tallgrass Ontario Board of Directors

Jeff Bakker is a business initiatives director at RBC with an interest in environmental restoration and invasive species control.

Izabela van Amelsvoort is a Terrestrial Ecologist with North-South Environmental Inc. and is the current Secretary of Tallgrass Ontario. Izabela completed a B.Sc. in Environmental Science (Guelph) and Masters in Forest Conservation (Toronto). She has since worked in environmental consulting as a Terrestrial Ecologist with a primary focus on botany. Her experience includes tallgrass prairie and other restoration projects and managements plans as well as studies and research relating to Species at Risk in Ontario.

Val Deziel completed her Hon. BSc in Restoration Ecology at Trent University. Val has experience as a field technician on various wildlife research projects working with provincial governments, universities, and First Nations. She joined NCC in 2012 and is now responsible for coordinating and conducting stewardship work in the Rice Lake Plains, including invasive species control, species at risk surveys, Prescribed burns and tallgrass prairie/ oak savannah habitat restoration.

Tallgrass Indicators Species List/Analysis spreadsheet available for download

Dan Lebedyk, Biologist/Ecologist at the Essex Region Conservation Authority and former Director of Tallgrass Ontario has released a new beta release of the SOFIA (Southern Ontario Floral Inventory Analysis) spreadsheet. SOFIA is a macro-enabled Microsoft Excel spreadsheet which tabulates, analyzes and automates floral inventories of natural areas within southern Ontario. Within this updated release, SOFIA now identifies if an inventory has tallgrass prairie/savanna indicator species. Visit our new On-Line Tools page to download this spreadsheet.

Tallgrass Ontario is pleased to announce the addition of two new documents to our Prescribed Burn Publications page.  Both of these documents will assist tallgrass prairie prescribed burn practitioners.

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Prescribed Burn Manual

This manual outlines the planning process which ensures that all prescribed burns in Ontario are conducted in a safe and efficient manner. This document described key prescribed burn planning concepts and some considerations for planning prescribed burns, based on the complexity of the burn. Burn Manual (pdf)

Field Guide for predicting Fire Behavior in Ontario’s Tallgrass Praire

This field guide was created to address the need for a more accurate estimate of fire behaviour in the tallgrass prairie of Southern Ontario. The new rate of spread model for tallgrass prairies detailed in this field guide is based on models developed in Australian grasslands and requires an estimate of the actual fuel moisture of the grass fuels. A tabular method for estimating fuel moisture content has also been introduced. Field Guide (pdf)

2019 update to the Ontario Tallgrass Recovery Plan

Tallgrass communities once covered a significant part of southern Ontario’s landscape. Interest in conserving and restoring Ontario’s tallgrass communities and their resident wildlife is on the rise in Ontario. For more information about the Ontario Tallgrass Recovery Plan please see the 2019 update. See more here: 2019 Update to the Tallgrass Communities of Southern Ontario Recovery Plan

Conservation practitioners and landowners please check out the new TgO reference document Restoring Oak Woodlands in Southern Ontario.

“Prior to 1800 the southern Ontario landscape was a rich mosaic of natural habitats − meadows, alvars, tallgrass prairies, oak savannas, oak woodlands, open and closed forests, swamps, marshes, bogs and fens. The majesty of these ecosystems has been described and documented by early settlers and land surveyors. The fact that southern Ontario contained ecosystems other than forest and wetland is new to a lot of people”.

See more here: Restoring Oak Woodlands in Southern Ontario