Grassy Place

Newfoundland & Labrador

Grassy Place is a diamond in the rough, hidden in a remote valley in the long-range mountains of Newfoundland & Labrador. Natural grasslands and the largest fluvial wetland of its type make up this breathtaking property. Given the size and scale of Grassy Place, we’ve been given an opportunity to protect the future of an entire ecosystem and everything that lives in it.

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Land

Species at risk, coastal wetlands, whatever the special, unique value that property has, we are committed to ensuring its long-term health.”
- Erica Thompson (NCC Conservation Engagement Manager)
map of the Grassy Place region

Grassy Place, Newfoundland & Labrador

48° 31' N

58° 25' W

The Region

Secured in 2011, Grassy Place is one of the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s largest and most ecologically significant properties in Atlantic Canada. The colour and beauty of the landscape is almost blinding as you gaze upon the tops of yellow, brown and grey highlands. It’s an exceptionally stunning environment – an untouched oasis of lush valleys, marshes, and waterfalls in the far northern, easternmost section of the Appalachian Mountains.

3,879
Acres Forever Protected

-6°C / 14°C

Temperatures in Southwestern Newfoundland & Labrador vary between the seasons, from -6 °C to 14 °C, with 1,200 mm to 1,700 mm of precipitation annually.

Diverse

Grassy Place is made up of a wide range of habitats – from grasslands to wetlands, to forests and heaths – all of which support a variety of wildlife and plant life; both rare and common.

13

Strong winds and hurricane activity are recurrent in Southwestern Newfoundland & Labrador. 13 Atlantic hurricanes have been recorded on the island since 1775.

Wildlife

From its extensive grasslands and wetlands to its forests, Grassy Place provides a haven for a wide range of bird species, marsh dwellers, and other keystone wildlife.

Newfoundland Marten

Newfoundland Marten

  • In times past, the Newfoundland marten was hunted for its fur, significantly reducing the population over time. The virgin forests of this island provide some of the last remaining habitat for this cute, solitary creature. The protection of Grassy Place is essential to their survival.

  • 50-63 cm The Newfoundland marten grows to about 50-63 centimetres in length, with an average weight of 2.4 pounds.

  • 8-10 yrs They have an 8-10 year lifespan.

  • They generally prey on smaller mammals, but berries, bird eggs, and even insects provide good nourishment.

  • Habitat loss, animal traps, and disease are some of the threats the Newfoundland marten faces. There are less than 900 Newfoundland marten remaining.

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Common Loon

Common Loon

  • The common loon is known for its haunting and eerie voice. This regal species is the official bird of Ontario and considered a symbol of wilderness and solitude. It’s an extremely fast and stealthy swimmer, able to keep pace with fish during underwater pursuits.

  • 4-13 lbs Adults weigh from 4-13 pounds and measure nearly 1 metre from bill tip to outstretched feet.

  • 15-30 yrs Their life expectancy ranges from 15-30 years.

  • Adults prefer fish to other food, favouring perch, suckers, catfish, sunfish, smelt and minnows. In the summer, this predatory bird's diet consists of fish, crayfish, frogs, snails, salamanders and leeches.

  • They nest close to water in hollowed-out mounds of dirt and vegetation.

  • While the common loon is not an at-risk species, it still faces many threats (such as habitat disturbance) and needs safe places to nest and feed. The Nature Conservancy of Canada works to protect natural spaces, like Grassy Place, to ensure that the common loon thrives.

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Common Goldeneye

Common Goldeneye

  • Named for their sun-bright eyes, the common goldeneye is one of the last duck species to migrate south in the fall. They are a territorial duck, often hunting in flocks and diving together to catch prey.

  • 40-51 cm They can grow anywhere between 40-51 centimetres long and weigh 1.1-3.1 pounds.

  • 12 yrs The common goldeneye can live up to 12 years.

  • As underwater foragers they commonly eat crustaceans, aquatic insects, and underwater vegetation.

  • Populations are relatively stable, however, threats such as contamination, hunting, and habitat destruction are a concern.

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Canada Goose

Canada Goose

  • This familiar bird is native to arctic and temperate regions of North America. Like most geese and duck species, you’ll see them flying in v-shaped formations during migration, and they are easily identifiable because of their distinctive black and brown plumage.

  • 6.6-19.8 lbs They grow to 76-110 centimetres in length and weigh between 6.6-19.8 pounds.

  • 10-24 yrs In the wild, they can survive anywhere from 10-24 years, but the oldest on record lived to the ripe old age of 30 years, 4 months.

  • Canada geese eat berries, seeds, grains and grasses.

  • They generally spend most of their time near water, nesting nearby on the ground. While the female incubates the eggs, the male stands guard.

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Red Fox

Red Fox

  • Red foxes are social animals and are led by a dominant male and female known as the ‘alpha pair’. Despite being called the ‘red fox’, their fur colour ranges from brown to black, and even silver. Their senses are tremendously sharp – from their binocular vision, to being able to hear a mouse 100 metres away.

  • 8-15 lbs The red fox grows between 90-112 centimetres in length, and weighs between 8-15 pounds.

  • 3-6 yrs The red fox has a 3-6 year life expectancy.

  • During winter months, the red fox primarily eats small mammals like mice, squirrels, and rabbits. In the summer, their diet changes to insects, crayfish, and a variety of plant life.

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Plant Life

Grassy Place consists of forests and a vast marsh environment, which provides an essential habitat for a wide range of rare plant life that flourish in wetlands.

Bluejoint Reedgrass

Bluejoint Reedgrass

  • 60 cm - 1.5 m Grows to lengths between 60 centimetres and 1.5 metres.

  • An important food source for grazing wildlife like caribou.

  • Bluejoint reedgrass is adapted to various climate changes and is very winter resilient.

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Interrupted Fern

Interrupted Fern

  • 100 cm Grows up to 100 centimetres in height.

  • While it’s a common plant in Canada, it is considered vulnerable in Newfoundland & Labrador.

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White Spruce

White Spruce

  • 15-30 m Reaches heights of 15-30 metres, making it one of the larger coniferous evergreens.

  • 50-250 yrs Lives between 50-250 years.

  • One of the biggest threats to the white spruce is 100 times smaller than it. The spruce beetle has destroyed thousands upon thousands of acres of forest across Canada.

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Black Spruce

Black Spruce

  • 5-15 m One of the smaller coniferous evergreens, growing between 5–15 metres tall.

  • 200 yrs Growing in wetlands, black spruce can live up to 200 years.

  • Black spruce forests provide a home for a variety of animals like moose and various types of bird life.

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White Birch

White Birch

  • 18 m The white birch is a deciduous tree that typically reaches 18 metres in height and in some cases, 40 metres.

  • Caribou eat birch leaves for summer food (along with willow leaves, grasses, sedges and moss).

  • 140 yrs It can live to the ripe old age of 140.

  • The white birch has highly weather-resistant bark.

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Tamarack

Tamarack

  • 10-20 m The tamarack is a boreal coniferous tree that grows to heights of 10–20 metres.

  • -65 °C Tamarack wood is very strong, making it resilient in cold conditions and freezing temperatures as low as −65 °C.

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The Environmental Awareness Initiative

With the help of Toshiba and the Land Information System, the Nature Conservancy of Canada is able to identify threats, reverse dangers, and record crucial discoveries. The ‘Environmental Awareness Initiative’ is one of the many ways Grassy Place is being protected.

Threat

Threat

Human activity can cause habitat degradation, often because there’s a lack of awareness that an area is sensitive or protected.

Action

Communication and raising awareness are key strategies used to combat the damage caused by lack of knowledge. The Nature Conservancy of Canada assembled a team to lead an environmental awareness program in this natural area, designed to educate the public on the importance of land conservation.

Action

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