When you see an old field, you may not think much of it. But with a helping hand, these overlooked landscapes can transform into thriving habitats for native birds, animals and pollinators.
Our native grasslands are places full of wildflowers and grasses, open sky and bird song. With urban sprawl and changes in farming practices, however, many local grasslands have disappeared. As they’ve vanished, so have the birds that rely on the tall grasses and open spaces for spring nesting grounds. The eastern meadowlark and bobolink, for example, are now listed as provincially at-risk.
Change is on the horizon for grassland birds. There is a three-year grassland restoration demonstration project at Upper Credit Conservation Area in Caledon. Landowners are learning how to transform old fields into flourishing grasslands. You can see the entire restoration process online in a photo journal.
Chris Wedeles is a landowner inspired to take action. He is transforming the open space on his property to unlock the potential for grassland birds. For the last 23 years, he’s been living on a 23- acre property with idle old fields and little growth. With guidance and funding through CVC’s Landowner Action Fund, and a grant through Environment Canada’s Habitat Stewardship Program (HSP), Chris is in year one of a grassland restoration project. While he knows restoration takes time, as a wildlife biologist Chris is patiently looking forward to seeing what new wildlife will visit his soon-to-be grassland paradise.
CVC’s Grassland Recovery Program aims to create more grassland habitat in the Credit River watershed through three initiatives:
- Grassland Recovery Demonstration Project at Upper Credit Conservation Area
- Bird-Friendly Certified Hay Program
- Landowner Action Fund incentive for grassland restoration projects
For more information, visit: www.creditvalleyca.ca/countrysidestewardship.