Happy National Pet Day from Ontario Barks

In today’s post, the Chairdog of the Ontario Barks committee shows off his best buds at their favourite provincial parks with their humans! 

Oh boy! It’s National Pet Day! *zoomies*

Even though this is a special day, I’m going to be fur-real with you – in my household, every day is pet day.

From the endless array of squeaky toys (with yummy stuffing and no eyes), the long W-A-L-Ks filled with my smelly presents, and second dinners because the human thought I didn’t get fed by the other human – it’s a pawesome time.

And get this: the fun doesn’t stop here. Sometimes, the human packs a bag and we head on out to a provincial park (there are hundreds!) for an adventure!

Don’t believe me? I’ve gathered all the evidence below of my best buds enjoying park visits! (Don’t ask about who destroyed the couch though; there is no proof.)

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Kettle Lakes: a land shaped by icebergs

The deep green boreal forest of Kettle Lakes Provincial Park contains 22 beautiful little lakes. Of these lakes, 20 are actually called “kettle lakes” by geographers.

So what is a “kettle lake?”

To answer that question, we first must look at how kettles are formed.

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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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A journey from the heart of Pinery to school outreach coordinator

Today’s blog was written by Almeera Ahmed, School Outreach Coordinator with the Discovery program.

Born and raised in the urban landscape of Brampton, Ontario, my childhood was far from the serene wilderness that would later define my career path.

Growing up, my encounters with wildlife were confined to the captivating narratives of wildlife documentaries.

However, this exposure was enough to ignite a flame of curiosity and passion for the natural world, propelling me towards a career in the environmental field.

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How to book a virtual school program

Our virtual school programs bring different aspects of Ontario’s natural and cultural heritage into your classroom through stories of the people and landscapes our provincial parks aim to protect.

Each program engages your students through storytelling, activities, discussion, and personal experiences.

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Five friends, five departments, one park

Today’s post comes from Zuzanna, Alysa, Lyle, Jackson, and Emily: five friends who applied to Ontario Parks across the province and by a twist of fate, all got jobs at the same provincial park, 1,500 km (or 16 hours) from home!

Are you interested in joining us for the 2024 summer season? Applications are now open!

In early January of last year, we applied to work at parks across the province. Being friends with connections in southern Ontario, we were yearning for seasonal jobs characterized by adventure and wilderness.

After numerous interviews and phone calls, one by one we received job offers from the same park: Quetico Provincial Park.

Once he reviewed our resumes and interviews, our senior operations technician discovered the friendships and previous connections that we had to one another.

Upon consideration of our unique backgrounds, he placed us in distinct departments to align with our individual strengths.

We became five friends in five departments, all at the same provincial park.

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Butterball’s story

Today’s post comes to us from David Bree, former Discovery Program Lead at Presqu’ile Provincial Park.

Butterball was a bit of a miracle child.

The way the year went, it was amazing that his egg was ever laid, let alone hatched. And he never should have flown.

But, somehow, he did.

To truly understand Butterball’s story, and the miracle it was, we must go back eight years. And oh yeah, you should know: Butterball is a Common Tern.

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Where can a paddle take you?

In today’s post, Rondeau Provincial Park‘s Chief Park Naturalist Jess Matthews takes us back in time…

There may be a time when you used your paddle to get through white caps. At other times, it leisurely pulled you over still wetlands.

They are a lifeline. Solid, reliable; something that won’t break down on whatever journey you may be on.

But what if we told you that a paddle can also take you through time to the very beginning of the provincial park system? A time when the only two superintendents in Ontario Parks were 600 km away from each other, and correspondence was mainly though letters.

Just two paddles are the tangible pieces of history that connects Algonquin Provincial Park and Rondeau Provincial Park through a story of beginnings, friendships, and marriage.

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