Urban Adventures: Ojibway Prairie

When you hear the word “savannah”, you probably imagine the vast grasslands of Africa with all matter of large mammals roaming them; that, or the coastal city in Georgia. What you may not realize is that Windsor has its very own savannah, minutes from downtown. The Ojibway prairie complex preserves some of the last remaining grasslands, savannahs, and forests remaining in Southwestern Ontario. By its definition, savannah is a grassland with a few scatterings of trees —think the transition from forest to grassland. Because the habitat Ojibway encloses is such rare habitat, the prairie features a rich diversity of wildlife including species not found anywhere else in Canada. Animals one might encounter include the rare Massassauga Rattlesnake- the only rattlesnake species found in Ontario. The region had been populated the Algonquin for centuries, who tended to the grasslands, deliberately setting fires to it, to prevent the growth of woody plants. This allowed large game to flourish such as deer, elk and turkey. Today this practice of burning the grasslands is continued by Essex Region Conservation Authority in an effort to maintain the health of this ecosystem. Later the area became the townsite of the the Ojibway, and today some evidence of this town remains; one can find traces of sidewalks and roads. Ojibway prairie is an amazing place to visit if one really wants to understand what the landscape of this region looked like prior to European settlement. It is also a fantastic place to go for a hike or run or even cross-country ski.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *