5 ways to unplug and experience nature

This is your sign to trade your digital scrolling for some outdoor strolling!

Technology is amazing and offers us so many tools (including many we use for conservation in parks!). That said, balance is important, and humans can struggle with screentime.

Spending time in nature offers many physical and mental benefits, like a stronger immune system and reduced mental fatigue. Getting outside is particularly important in the winter, when there is less sunshine and the days are shorter.

Even with knowing all these health benefits, it can still be tough to unplug – so we put together a few steps to start you on your way:

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March’s digital download

Hang in there, parks-lovers — spring is on the way!

One of our favourite signs of spring? The male Black-capped Chickadee’s mating call: “Feebee!”

What are your favourite signs of spring?

This month’s FREE digital download features a Black-capped Chickadee.

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Bronte Creek’s maple candy wars

Today’s blog post was written by Jessica Stillman, Discovery Program project coordinator and maple syrup aficionado at Bronte Creek Provincial Park.

Maple season is upon us!

Trees have been tapped, sap is boiling, and Bronte Creek’s annual Maple Syrup Festival is underway, which means the biggest annual debate has also begun…

…which is the better form of maple candy: taffy or sugar?

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Invasive species in our parks: what’s your role?

In today’s post, Amy Hall, a resource management group leader, gets us up to speed on invasive species, and shares some of the great prevention work happening at Pinery Provincial Park.

It’s Invasive Species Awareness Week!

No matter what role you play in parks, you are an essential part of preventing the spread of invasive species in Ontario.

Which of these anti-invasive heroes sounds like you?

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From Discovery team to butterfly biologist

Today’s blog was written by Michelle Polley, a Master’s student conducting research at Pinery Provincial Park where she formerly worked as a Discovery ranger.

I had never been lucky enough to camp at a provincial park. So when I started my first summer on the Discovery team at Pinery Provincial Park, I didn’t know what a naturalist’s job entailed.

I also didn’t know how that summer contract would affect the trajectory of my life.

Looking back, my experience brought me skills and experiences that led me down a path to develop my career and interests.

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Backcountry basics: know your limits

You’ve heard about this fantastic new adventure through a friend, route guide, or Instagram. It looks kind of tough, and you’re pretty new to the whole backcountry thing.

Still, you don’t want to miss out, so you decide to go for it.

But as you start planning, there’s a little voice wondering if this is really the best idea.

Listen to that voice.

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Communication is key: from student to park superintendent

Today’s blog was written by Dave Ward, park superintendent for Ontario Parks’ Temagami Cluster.

The year is 2007. I had just completed my first year of college and had no idea what direction I wanted to go with my career.

I happened to know someone who worked for Ontario Parks as an interpreter in the Discovery program. It sounded like a fantastic job so I applied online for a student park ranger position.

After a thorough interview process, I was successful in getting a Discovery position at Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park.

Little did I know at the time that my short summer experience with Ontario Parks would slowly turn into a career.

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Forever protected

We all know Ontario’s provincial parks aim to protect our natural landscapes and species.

But did you know that each individual park is protected for its own (often very specific) reasons?

Our parks work together as a network of biodiversity and protection.

Whether an immense wilderness or a small urban nature reserve, every park plays a critical role in the protection of our biodiversity, including representative ecosystems, species, and cultural heritage.

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6 reasons to visit the Bronte Creek Maple Syrup Festival this March

Ontario Parks has some pretty cool events every year and Bronte Creek Provincial Park’s legendary Maple Syrup Festival is right up there on the cool-o-meter.

Yes, folks: fresh Ontario maple syrup will be flowing over pancakes, bacon, and more as visitors get set to celebrate an annual spring tradition.

Fresh air, maple taffy, and loads of fun await visitors of all ages!

Here are 6 reasons to pull on your long johns and get sappy this March:

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Wildlife parenting strategies

This blog comes from Laura Penner, a Discovery Program Group Leader at Rondeau Provincial Park

As a naturalist and a mother of three, I find great joy in catching rare glimpses of wildlife taking care of their young.

This looks so different from species to species. It could be a female oriole meticulously weaving grasses into an intricate basket-shaped nest, or a Map Turtle digging test nests all over a campsite until she finds the perfect soil composition.

Each species has its own unique way to raise its young that best deals with the challenges in its environment. Let’s take a look at a few interesting ways wildlife care for their young.

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