Grasslands for All: Supporting Livestock, Wildlife and Climate Resilience

Cows in a field.

This is part four of our five-part Farm Gate series about agricultural projects that are supported by the ALUS Peel Pilot and Peel Rural Water Quality Program.

Amongst the forests filled with bird song and wetlands buzzing with insects and frog calls, the value of grasslands may be easily overlooked. But these lands are more than just grass; they’re valuable ecosystems that support pollinators, provide habitat for species at risk and help reduce the effects of climate change.

Grasslands are open areas filled with tall grasses, wildflowers, and occasional shrubs and trees. Native grasses here are tall and have deep roots, helping them survive dry conditions.

Grasslands are home to a variety of flowering plants like orange butterfly weed and yellow false sunflower, essential for butterflies and insects. They also provide crucial habitats for two local bird species at risk – the eastern meadowlark and bobolink. These species rely on the tall grasses and flowers for shelter and nesting.

A grassy field.

Aside from providing for animals and plants, grasslands offer several benefits to human communities. They support cattle grazing, especially during hot, dry summers, while also soaking up storm water and capturing carbon.

Restoring open areas, like old farm fields and meadows, to native grasslands can be tricky. Professional restoration staff at Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) can help with all stages of restoration, and CVC incentive programs offer grants to help eligible rural landowners in the Credit River Watershed with establishment costs. In addition, Peel farmers may receive annual payments to maintain and monitor grassland restoration projects on farms. Contact our team today to learn more and get started.

Learn more

Part 1: The Best Defense is a Good Fence
Part 2: Keeping Soil in its Place: Funding for Erosion Control
Part 3: Agroforestry: Farms and Forests Working as One

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