Ontario prairies logo - big bluestem

Prairie Grasses

Past and Potential for Ontario's Natural Heritage - Page 10

Conclusion - William Jordan, who is a front runner in the developing field of restoration ecology, describes well (Jordan 1997) the assertion that restoration, besides healing the natural landscape, also holds promise to heal the rift between humans and nature:

Restoration is a powerful way to learn, both about the ecosystem being restored and about our relationship with it. Restoration gives humans a role in "nature's" work and creates artificial natural ecosystems that not only make nonsense of any radical distinction between humans and nature, but also provide a way of negotiating the differences between them.

Tallgrass prairies and savannas comprise a beautiful, diverse, yet all but forgotten part of Ontario's natural heritage. They need our assistance to recover from two centuries of destruction, and we need their help to help re-build healthy landscapes and healthy communities. Big bluestem (A. gerardii), with the recognizable form of its "turkey foot" spikelets, should be used as Ontario's flagship prairie species, and as a symbol of people taking an active, positive part in healing the landscape. I look forward to a day when prairie biofuel powers us, when our houses are efficiently insulated with native grasses, and when turkey foot can be seen waving in the wind along highway 401.

Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 References Appendix 1

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Page design © 1999 T. A. Dickinson; essay text and illustrations © 1998 Lindsay Rodger except as noted.
Please send your comments to tim.dickinson@utoronto.ca; last updated 7-May-99

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