High Park contains approximately 110 acres of remnant oak woodland communities which were once common on the sand plains of the Great Lakes. Today less than 0.01 percent of these oak woodland communities remain in southern Ontario.
The large Black Oak trees (Quercus velutina) and many other plants, wildflowers, birds and insects dependent on these communities for their habitat are considered to be provincially rare by the Ministry of Natural Resources. Black Oak, found on dry sandy sites throughout the southern United States, is at the northern limit of its natural distribution in High Park. Extensive development of the Great Lakes region has all but eliminated these rare and endangered oak woodland communities.
About 1/3 of the park’s natural environment consists of nationally rare oak savannah, an open, park-like landscape that contains widely spaced black oaks, scattered low shrubs and a rich variety of prairie grasses and wildflowers.
For more about this special habitat, see Black Oak Savannah & Woodland.
To find the high quality savannah areas in High Park, see this map (pdf)