The Murphys Point moth craze

This post comes to us from Mark Read, an interpretive naturalist at Murphys Point Provincial Park.

Most people have a love/hate relationship with moths. But believe it or not, moths are the latest craze to hit Murphys Point Provincial Park!

With moths that range in size from as big as your hand to smaller than a grain of rice, staff at the park have been documenting this understudied group for the last few years.

As a result, the park list has grown from 56 known species in 2015 to a whopping 673! That’s 617 more species identified in the park in just three years!

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A brief history of nature education in provincial parks

“Through these interesting and enjoyable experiences which are both educational and recreational, interpretation contributes to the inspirational value of the outdoors and fosters an understanding, an appreciation, and an intelligent use of our parklands.”

– Alan Helmsley, Department of Lands & Forests, 1960

Ontario Parks’ nature programs are designed to help people discover and connect with the natural and cultural history of the park during their visit.

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A summer bioblitz at Lake Superior

Today’s post is brought to you by the natural heritage education staff at Lake Superior Provincial Park.

This past July, Lake Superior Provincial Park held a bioblitz in an effort to identify as many species as possible within the park boundaries. That is 160,810 ha of park land and water, abundant with life!

Our mission: to get to know our park, and teach park visitors how to be citizen scientists!

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Summer bioblitzes at Algonquin

In honour of our 125th anniversary, our oldest provincial park, Algonquin, is hosting a bioblitz series!

Join park naturalists for weekly programs where you will learn how to identify and inventory different species, as well as the importance of citizen science in protecting the biodiversity of our parks.

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Howling with the wolves at Bonnechere Provincial Park

Today’s post comes to us from MacKenzie Schmidt, Discovery Program Coordinator for our Algonquin Zone.

For centuries, wolves have captured our imagination and wonder. Tolstoy wrote about them, biologists have studied them in earnest, and campers staying at Ontario Parks have had the opportunity to howl to them during public wolf howls since the 1960s.

In fact, the very first public wolf howl at Algonquin Provincial Park (1963) represents some of our earliest educational programming that is paramount to Ontario Parks’ mission today.

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Local schools blitz Murphys Point

This post comes to us from Mark Read, Interpretive Naturalist at Murphys Point Provincial Park.

Last month, two local schools took part in a mini bioblitz at Murphys Point, using their outdoor skills to explore, discover, and identify the various wildlife of the park.

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The dazzling tigers at Charleston Lake

Today’s post comes to us from Chris Robinson, Natural Heritage Education Leader at Charleston Lake Provincial Park.

This is a vibrant, colourful time of year at Charleston Lake Provincial Park, with lasting sunshine and seemingly endless days. June and July are also when butterfly watching is at its best!

Some of the park’s most showy butterflies are the tiger swallowtails, known for their large size, distinctive colours and streamer-like “tails” on their hindwings.

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What’s with all the caterpillars?

You arrive at your campsite on a beautiful spring weekend for some early-season camping and begin to set up your site. You’ve already noticed that the trees on the way to the park look a bit thin, like they do at the beginning of spring.

Then one of the kids notices that one of the trees has a big clump of blackish stuff that’s moving…

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