Protect the Burnt Lands Alvar – Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists

Protect the Burnt Lands Alvar - Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists

(Theme 4 – Habitat, Theme 6 – Natural Capital, Theme10 – Sense of Place)

Organization: Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN)

Timeline for Completion: Since 1988 Ongoing


Mission – Connecting people with nature in Ontario’s Mississippi Valley

What is an alvar?
An alvar is a biological environment based on a limestone plain with thin or no soil and, as a result, sparse grassland vegetation.

The Burnt Lands alvar is a provincially significant Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI).
•The Crown Land portion of the alvar is regulated as a Nature Reserve Class provincial park.

What’s special about alvars?
•Alvar communities command interest because of their rarity, distinctive character and their large number of rare species (Ontario Parks 2001).
•Alvars comprise a small percentage of the Earth’s ecosystems by land extent. Although some 120 exist in the Great Lakes region, in total there are only about 112 square kilometres left across the entire Great Lakes basin, and many of these have been degraded by agriculture and other human uses. More than half of all remaining alvars occur in Ontario. There are smaller areas in New York, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Quebec (Wikipedia).

Conserving biodiversity is essential for Ontario’s long-term prosperity and environmental health. The treasures of our natural world need to be preserved for future generations. The cluster lot development in the ANSI would cause widespread disturbance and degrade flora and fauna, including the habitat of endangered species and threatened species. It would also compromise connectivity to adjacent alvar properties and introduce many non-native species.

Part of the Burnt Lands Alvar ANSI is private land, and many private landowners cherish their land and provide good stewardship; part is a Nature Reserve Class Provincial Park; and part is owned by the City of Ottawa.


Welcome to the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) club . . . exploring and learning about nature in the Mississippi Mills, Carleton Place, Perth, Lanark Highlands, Beckwith and surrounding areas of Lanark County in Ontario’s pristine Mississippi River Valley, since 1988. “If you enjoy the out-of-doors and you want to know more about the wonderful world of nature in our area we urge you to become a member of the MVFN.” Those words appeared in our first club newsletter published in November of our first year as a naturalist club. Now well into our 25th year and now a registered charitable organization, MVFN continues to be an active field naturalist club providing the opportunity to learn about and help conserve the natural world with people of all age groups and ranging from neophyte nature lovers to knowledgeable field naturalists and experts.

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January 19, 2015 at 9:11 pm

Project entered on: January 19, 2015 at 9:11 pm

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Posted in Theme 4 - Habitat, Theme 6 - Natural Capital, Theme10 - Sense of Place.

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