SER Ontario Backus Woods Ecological Restoration Field Trip


September 13, 2014 - September 13, 2014


Walsingham, Ontario, Canada


SER Ontario (SERO)


Backus Woods Ecological Restoration Field Trip
SER Ontario 2014 Field Trip 

Ontario’s tallgrass prairies are treeless habitats dominated by native grasses and wildflowers. Interspersed among Ontario’s deciduous Carolinian forests, prairie vegetation is restricted to the dry conditions of well-drained, sandy soils. Currently, these ecosystems are disappearing as a result of urban sprawl, agriculture, invasive species colonization, and fire suppression. Sand plain prairie habitat supports a high biodiversity of regionally unique plants, invertebrates and animals. Habitat loss has elevated the status of many grassland species to provincially endangered or rare. Depleted aggregate sites are good candidates for prairie restoration projects due to their ‘open’ nature and adaptability to management scenarios.

In 2010, a large-scale field study was established by Ph.D. candidate Brian Ohsowski from the University of British Columbia- Kelowna, funded by The Ontario Aggregate Resources Corporation (TOARC) to test the best way to grow grassland plants in sand pits. During this site visit Brian’s research that examined the efficiency of planting approaches, mycorrhizal inoculation, biochar and municipal compost treatments on a former sand pit near St. Williams will be discussed. You will see firsthand the results that have supplied answers to important biological questions that lead to a better understanding of prairie rehabilitation in former sand pits. 

  • SERO Member Fee: $15 
  • Non Member Fee: $20