|An oak savannah composed of black, red, and white oaks reaching 280 years in age.
|Park Name: Paradise Grove Oak Savannah Restoration area|
|Size: 26 ha|
|Age of oldest known trees: 280 years|
|Forest Type: Oak Savanah|
|Conservation Status: Protected|
|Land Use Designation: Nature Area
This area is part of the land owned and operated by the Niagara Parks Commission, an agency of the Ontario government.
|When you drive into Paradise Grove on the Niagara Parkway, there is an area to the right that looks like an unkempt city park with large open-grown oak trees in an unmowed field. In fact, this is part of an old-growth oak savannah. Some of the oak trees growing here date back to the early 1700"s, and savannah plants can still be found here despite years of frequent mowing. Park managers realised that these large trees had grown naturally in an open oak savannah, so they stopped mowing the area in 2003 to let the natural savannah vegetation reclaim its place. The majority of Paradise Grove was never mowed, however, and is composed of very large oak trees (up to 150 cm across) with a dense understory of trees and shrubs that makes it very hard to appreciate the forest. In the absence of fire, this former savannah has been invaded by exotic tree species such as Norway maple, which park managers are now gradually removing from the surrounding forest of towering black, red, and white oaks. It is clear that, in a place like Paradise Grove, doing nothing is not an option. The long-term plan is to begin a program of prescribed burns to restore the oak savannah vegetation, much like what is being done in Toronto"s High Park. The information and description of this forest are from Ontario's Old-Growth Forests: a Guidebook Complete with History, Ecology and Maps|
Google Map Link: www.google.com/maps/place/43.24300,-79.06200
Other Maps: Directions: Follow the Niagara Parkway north from Niagara Falls towards Niagara-on-the-Lake. Paradise Grove is located where the road forks three ways, the forest is between the outer forks and dissected by the middle one. Your best bet is probably to stay right and watch for the parking lot immediately after the road forks (43.243 Lat, -79.062 Long). From here you can explore by wandering in the more open savannah near the parking lot, or cross both roads and follow the General Brock Trail (a side trail of the Bruce Trail) and the middle roadway to make a loop through some more impressive but very densely overgrown forest.