Limestone Barrens



The Limestone Barrens Habitat Stewardship Program

Stone stripes and trailing juniper near Port au Choix.   Photo by Dulcie House.


The Limestone Barrens Habitat Stewardship Project was created to encourage land and resource use practices which maintain habitat that is critical to the survival and recovery of endangered or threatened species that have been identified in recovery planning.

The project's main goals are:

    To develop and implement "on the ground" stewardship actions to instill pride and promote responsible use of the barrens by residents;

    Community Education to build constituency and stewardship;

    Restoration and conservation to ensure viable habitat for rare species;

    Ecotourism to contribute to a sustainable future for communities of the Northern Peninsula.


Education is the key to long-term preservation. In interviews conducted by a Green Team in the Flower's Cove area in July 2000, and those done by program interpreters in communities adjacent to the barrens in 2001, local residents expressed a genuine interest in learning more about the rare plants. Residents were surprised to learn that there were plants in their back yard that could not be found anywhere else on Earth! At the same time, they did not draw any connection between their land use practices and the risk to the flora. In order to protect this habitat for future generations, residents will need to become engaged in a combination of stewardship agreements and education, as well as species-at-risk site restoration.

Programming Approaches

The programming approaches carried out by the Program Coordinator, interpreters and Green Team members include a number of stewardship/interpretation tools such as:
    Kitchen table discussions/interviews;

    Slide presentations to town councils and various community groups;

    Curriculum-based education programs for schools that focus specifically on the limestone barrens;

    Field trips for local students to the limestone barrens;

    Clean-up campaigns in spring/summer led by the local interpreters;

    Art contests for local students to design a poster for protection of the limestone barrens which then could be copied and distributed to public places within the community.

Other actions could include development of "learning travel" programs, such as Photography and Wildflowers in partnership with Parks Canada. Some longer-range ideas include development of a Poster series aimed at rare plants, a lesson plan for teachers to use during National Wildlife Week or Environment Week, and development of several eco-stops at various locations on the limestone barrens on the Northern Peninsula.


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