Activities by the Friends of Massassauga Point, and at the Conservation Area
Our other regular projects to date include:
Benches, path maintenance, grass cutting, picnic shelter maintenance, parking lot toilet, animal proof garbage container, signage, brochures and holder, monitoring of area, web site, newsletter, fund raising, etc. etc.
Osprey Nesting Platform
An osprey nesting platform was installed a few years agoa just south east of the old hotel location, in the easterly section of the Bur Oak Savanna Habitat Restoration project (see below)
The pole is a "class 2" hydro pole, 14 meters (45 feet) high and cemented in a drilled hole in the limestone base. It is well above the surrounding tree line and about 30 meters from the water's edge.
The location of the platform was set by consultation with local naturalists. It should be a very attractive nesting site for the local osprey which are often seen fishing in the near-by bay. Over the last few years there have been regular hatchings at the platform near #28 and Massassauga Road which is only about 5 km from this platform. There should be a demand for nesting sites for these new osprey residents.
The ospreys are again nesting in 2013 and had produced two chicks.
The Massassauga Point Bur Oak Savanna Habitat Restoration Project
project is aimed at restoring the bur oak savanna which has been identified
as a globally and provincially rare vegetation area by the Natural Heritage
Information Centre of OMNR. The objective is to increase the biological
diversity of the Point and return the project site to the aesthetically appealing,
park like savanna vegetation, of the 1800's.
was originally open bur oak woodland with shagbark hickory, but species such
as red cedar and common buckthorn have crowded out the native savanna vegetation.
Core testing of some of
the burr and deams oak revealed ages of about 175 years, while the shagbark
hickory were about 150 years old.
The invasion of the site by these species had progressed to a point where the native savanna was almost unrecognizable except for the numerous open grown oaks and hickory overtopping the cedar and buckthorn.
This project was made possible through funding by the Quinte Watershed Cleanup acquired from Environment Canada's EcoAction 2001 community action program, with support from Ontario Works, under the auspices of Quinte Conservation Authority.
Over 6 acres has been restored. Objective is to add spring native wild sedge and grass planting on this acreage and add another 2 to 4 acres for restoration. The restoration of the savanna will continue. A controlled burn will be necesssary each spring for several years, in order to control the invasive common buckthorn and to encourage the local grasses to germinate.
We also plan to add, this spring, an osprey nesting platform. With the strong comeback of ospreys in this area, we are optimistic that a breeding pair will find this platform to their liking.
We are also
working with Tallgrass
Ontario, a volunteer organization dedicated to preserving the remaining
Ontario Tallgrass Prairie and Savannas, for sharing of ideas and resources.
Ed, along with representatives from "Friends" led this group on an evening tour of Massassauga Conservation Area this July. Some of the more interesting plants observed included deams oak, side oak grass, sleepy catch fly grass, death camus, wild onion, snow berries, narrow leaf jersey tea, etc. Also on the Alvar was a very old burr oak, estimated to be about 200 years, but because of the dry, harsh conditions, was quite small. A bonsai oak?
The group enjoyed the time and Ed's knowledgeable discourse.
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