Alerts and Advisories as of: November 29, 2023
There are no fire restrictions at this time.
Boil Water Advisory
Park AdvisoriesJapanese Stiltgrass, a shade-tolerant invasive annual grass of forests, wetlands, damp fields, lawns, trails and roadside ditches has been identified in Short Hills Provincial Park
Please refer to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) website and park kiosks for additional information and pictures.
Why it’s a problem
Japanese stiltgrass can form dense stands that outcompete native vegetation. It reduces the regeneration of native woody species and the overall biodiversity of the invaded ecosystem.
What it looks like
Japanese stiltgrass is a sprawling grass. Stems are 40-120 cm long and 1-1.5 mm thick. The lower portion of the plant is prostrate while the upper portions and flowering branches are erect. It roots at its stem nodes. Leaf blades are pale green, narrowly elliptic, 4–9 cm long and 5–15 mm wide, with a characteristic shiny midrib. Leaf sheaths are shorter than internodes. Inflorescences are terminal racemes, 3-9 cm in length.
Where it’s found
Native to Asia, this species has naturalized in the eastern U.S. and continues to spread in the northeast. One small population of Japanese stiltgrass has been confirmed and is under official control in southern Ontario.
How it spreads
Fruits and seeds are dispersed by water and can attach to clothing or animal fur. Bird seed, soil, nursery stock, hay, muddy tires, equipment, vehicles, and footwear are additional means of dispersal. Seeds can persist in the soil for as long as five years.
Japanese stiltgrass is regulated as a pest in Canada under the Plant Protection Act. The species is prohibited and therefore importation and domestic movement of regulated plants and their propagative parts is not permitted. If found, regulatory action can be taken.
Japanese stiltgrass is similar to the North American native white cutgrass (Leersia virginica). However, distinctive traits of Japanese stiltgrass include hairless nodes, smaller leaf blades, purple fall colouration, and a shinier blade midrib. Moreover, Japanese stiltgrass is an annual weed with fibrous roots and a spike-like inflorescence, whereas Leersia species have rhizomes and a panicle type of inflorescence. Japanese stiltgrass may also be mistaken for another North American native, deertongue panicgrass (Dichanthelium clandestinum), as well as for small carpetgrass (Arthraxon hispidus).
What to do about it
Please contact your local CFIA office if you think you have found Japanese stiltgrass or other regulated invasive plants. The CFIA will follow-up to determine if further action is needed.
*Invasive plants are plant species that can be harmful when introduced into new areas. These species can invade agricultural and natural areas, causing serious damage to Canada's economy and environment. To find out more, visit www.inspection.gc.ca/invasive or contact CFIA’s Invasive Alien Species and Domestic Programs section at email@example.com. To find your area or regional CFIA office, visit http://www.inspection.gc.ca/about-the-cfia/offices/eng/1313255382836/1313256130232
The Northeast section of the Terrace creek loop is closed due to unsafe trail conditions. All other portions of this trail remain open.
Short Hills Provincial Park will be closed to the public for a Traditional Deer Harvest.
The Haudenosaunee Confederacy has notified the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks that its constituent First Nations wish to conduct a traditional/community harvest for deer in Short Hills Provincial Park. Ontario recognizes the treaty rights of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy to conduct a deer harvest in an area of southwestern Ontario that includes Short Hills Provincial Park.
To facilitate the Haudenosaunee Confederacy’s community harvest while balancing the interests of the different park users and the public and ensuring public safety,
Short Hills Provincial Park will be closed on the following dates and will re-open at 8 a.m. the following morning:
• Saturday, October 21
• Saturday, October 28
• Tuesday, November 14
• Tuesday, November 28
• Tuesday, December 12
• Tuesday, December 19
To ensure public safety, the park will be closed to the public during the duration of the traditional harvest. During the harvest access points will be monitored. Park closures are authorized under the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, 2006. On the dates of the traditional harvest please comply with all posted notices.
To help protect the safety of harvesters, staff and the public, several additional measures will be in place throughout the harvest:
• Archery will be the means of harvesting deer. No guns will be allowed.
• A harvest zone has been established and the deer harvest will stay confined to the agreed-upon zone.
• Harvesters will be stationary and away from the park boundary.
• All participants will be advised of the safety protocols and procedures.
• Ministry staff will be present at authorized access points and other locations to advise members of the public and park users that the park is closed during the harvests and that access is prohibited.
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
• Notices will be posted at the park entrances.
• Each harvest will consist of a harvest day (beginning one half-hour before sunrise and end one half-hour after sunset) and post-harvest maintenance which will be completed the following morning by 8:00am.
All harvesters will be made aware of the terms of the harvest agreement between the ministry and the Haudenosaunee Confederacy to ensure a safe and humane deer harvest.
If you require additional information about the Traditional Harvest at Short Hills Provincial Park please contact Greg Wilson, Ontario Parks Southwest Zone Manager, at 519-873-4616 or Greg.Wilson2@ontario.ca.