Conservation Projects at RBG
RBG’s conservation efforts occur in forest, wetland and prairie habitats and range from species at risk inventories to invasive alien species management.
In additions to our display gardens and horticultural conservation work, Royal Botanical Gardens works hard to preserve and restore its nature sanctuaries. This includes Project Paradise —one of the largest freshwater restoration projects of its kind in North America— that works to restore aquatic habitats of Cootes Paradise and Grindstone Creek marshes.
Royal Botanical Gardens’ 1,100 hectares is dominated by nature sanctuaries enveloping the western end of Lake Ontario. These properties are dominated by three types of habitats: wetlands, forest, and prairies. With more than 750 native plant species, 277 types of migratory birds, 37 mammal species, 14 reptile species, 9 amphibian species and 68 species of Lake Ontario fish, the area is an important contributor to ecosystems that span international borders.
An innovative freshwater marsh restoration venture, Project Paradise includes a range of conservation projects with a long-term goal is to create the underlying conditions for ecosystem recovery.
RBG’s nature sanctuaries contain about 50 hectares of grasslands, 45 of which are being actively conserved to help this diverse ecosystem thrive. Grasslands have crucial flowers, food plants, and habitat for pollinators like bees and butterflies, as well as bird and mammal species that are becoming increasingly rare.
The Nature Sanctuaries at Royal Botanical Gardens are home too 400 hectares (1,000 acres) of forest ecosystem with over 70 species of trees.
Special Protection Areas
To ensure that all species have an opportunity to persist, 20 percent of RBG’s nature sanctuaries remain without formal trails, creating core areas protected from human and other associated disturbances. These areas have been named ‘Special Protection Areas’. For the visitor, next to these areas there are observation points and interpretive signage to help you appreciate the significance of these unique spaces.
In 2013, RBG was home to the first eaglets to hatch on the Canadian shoreline of Lake Ontario in over 50 years.
Located at the mouth of the Desjardins Canal, RBG’s Fishway is protecting native species and their wetland habitats.
With a variety of habitat adjacent to these extensive wetlands, it’s no surprise that RBG is home to four native turtle species. Through our wetland restoration efforts and the Site–Specific Recovery Plan, RBG works to protect and restore habitat for turtles and all wildlife across our 2,400 acres of protected nature lands.
Support Conservation at RBG
These conservation projects are possible thanks to the generous support of RBG Members and donors. With a donation to Growing up Green, you can ensure an active, vibrant and healthy future for the children of today and tomorrow through our horticultural and conservation projects.