News Release: Native Plant Nursery Will Contribute to Increased Natural Cover and Climate Resilience

Oct 20, 2021   •   Featured , News

Native Plant Nursery Will Contribute to Increased Natural Cover and Climate Resilience

Alderville First Nation’s Mitigomin Native Plant Nursery Will Support Restoration Plantings 

TORONTO, October 20, 2021—The Greenbelt Foundation has announced a new grant to the Alderville First Nation Black Oak Savanna to continue work on the Mitigomin Native Plant Nursery (MNPN). The word “Mitigomin” is an Anishinaabemowin word that translates to "seed from an oak.” The MNPN will produce native plants to support ecological restoration projects and increase natural cover in the region. The MNPN will grow species native to Ontario’s grassland ecosystems and the Rice Lake Plains, located at the easternmost edge of the Greenbelt.

Under the leadership of Alderville First Nation, the Mitigomin Native Plant Nursery will support the restoration efforts and Traditional Food Systems within the Rice Lake Plains."

Under the leadership of Alderville First Nation, the MNPN will support the restoration efforts and Traditional Food Systems within the Rice Lake Plains. The $127,038 contribution to the MNPN will fund the initial coordination of the project, with the aim of an operational native plant nursery by 2023.

The MNPN’s 2,250 square feet of growing space will support Rice Lake Plains restoration efforts, climate change mitigation, endangered species, and ecosystem connectivity. Grassland ecosystems are highly effective carbon sinks that can sequester up to 1.7 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per acre, per year; thus the MNPN presents a direct means of contributing to climate change mitigation within Central Ontario.

“The Alderville Black Oak Savanna and Mitigomin Native Plant Nursery team is excited to embark on this new phase of the MNPN project,” says Gillian di Petta, Native Plant Nursery Coordinator, Alderville First Nation. “We look forward to working with the Greenbelt Foundation and our Rice Lake Plains Partners in our endeavour to support regional ecological restoration, native plant conservation and Traditional Food Systems.”

Tallgrass prairie restoration maps target over 40,000 hectares of grassland and savannah that could be supported by the MNPN. There is currently opportunity to restore tallgrass prairie and savannah habitats from Rice Lake, through the Oak Ridges Moraine, to the Ganaraska Forest and shoreline of Lake Ontario. By working with partners like the Rice Lake Plains Partnership, native plants grown at the MNPN will be used in crucial restoration projects across the region. The Rice Lake Plains Partnership is a collection of conservation authorities and organizations in the Rice Lake Plains area of Northumberland County.

“The Mitigomin Native Plant Nursery is an exciting project for the Greenbelt Foundation to support given its various economic and environmental benefits,” says Edward McDonnell, CEO, Greenbelt Foundation. “With the increasing impacts of climate change, ecological restoration is critical to supporting increases in natural cover, connectivity, and native plants that will help preserve the health of natural areas and ensure our communities become more climate-resilient.”

To read a Backgrounder with additional details on the grant program, please click HERE.


About Greenbelt Foundation: 

Greenbelt Foundation is a charitable organization, solely dedicated to ensuring the Greenbelt remains permanent, protected and prosperous. We make the right investments in its interconnected natural, agricultural and economic systems, to ensure a working, thriving Greenbelt for all. Ontario's Greenbelt is the world's largest, with over two million acres of farmland, forests, wetlands, and rivers working together to provide clean air, fresh water, and a reliable local food source.  

About Alderville Black Oak Savanna
Located on Alderville First Nation in the Rice Lake Plains region of Northumberland County, the Alderville Black Oak Savanna was founded in 1999. What was once a series of agricultural fields has been transformed into a thriving grassland restoration site, with an abundance of rare plant and animal species. The Alderville Black Oak Savanna site is the largest intact tract of native grassland habitat left within the Rice Lake Plains and Eastern Ontario, playing a key role in the restoration of this unique eco-region by acting as a source for native plants and seed. The Alderville Black Oak Savannas mandate centers on 3 main areas: ecological restoration, environmental research, and education/outreach. The Alderville Black Oak Savanna's mission is to preserve, restore and expand this rare habitat within Alderville First Nation and region through holistic land stewardship.

Greenbelt Foundation Media Contact: 

Petronilla Ndebele, Director, Strategic Communications
Greenbelt Foundation
(416) 960-0001 Extension 306 
[email protected] 

Alderville First Nation Black Oak Savanna Media Contact

Gillian di Petta, Native Plant Nursery Coordinator
Alderville Black Oak Savanna
(905) 352 1008
[email protected]
Social Media: @aldervilleblackoaksavanna

Greenbelt Foundation Social Media: 


Instagram: @ongreenbelt 

Twitter: @greenbeltca 

Facebook: Ontario Greenbelt