International Youth Day 2016

International Youth Day 2016

Happy International Youth Day!

Students and youth are the lifeblood of our parks — we couldn’t do without them!

Here are just a few stand-out students from around the province:

Pernell Ottertail


Pernell is a backcountry Ranger at Quetico Provincial Park. In this picture he is flying from Prairie Portage Ranger Station to Lac La Croix Ranger station in a beaver float plane.


Nathali Gunawardena


Nathali is a wonderful and hardworking second-year Discovery Program student at Rideau River Provincial Park. She spends her days facilitating nature activities and trail hikes to educate and entertain our park visitors.


Connor DonaldConnor has been a dedicated maintenance student at Darlington Provincial Park for two seasons. His commendable work ethic, attention to detail and level of initiative have been remarkable – arriving for work asking to go and “quickly” trim a particular branch that was out of place or cut a long section of grass that caught his eye on his drive in, before he begins his assigned tasks is just one example of many. Connor is a very positive leader amongst his fellow co-workers and always goes an extra mile with a great attitude.

Chee Lai


Chee works hard at main office designing park signs and sourcing images for park publications.

In this photo, Chee hikes the Sleeping Giant to get the perfect shot.


Kazuto GillinghamKazuto does a terrific job at Algonquin Provincial Park‘s West Gate.

“This is my first summer working in Algonquin Park and what I enjoy most about the park are the nature trails,” he says. “I am looking forward to being part of the busy fall visitation for the fall colours.”

Anna Scuhr Megan ByrnesAnna has spent seven years working for Ontario Parks, including three seasons at Lake Superior Provincial Park, while completing a degree in wildlife biology.

Megan is new to parks this year. She returns to grade 12 this fall, and plans to pursue animal biology, leading to veterinary college.

Kevin Lanoix & Logan McDonald

Kevin and Logan are from Kettle Lakes Provincial Park‘s amazing maintenance team. They’ve been here since May working hard, and taking initiative in guiding newer staff on the job. Together, they provide an amusing atmosphere with their sense of humour.

Trisha Baker


For her second year in parks, Trisha is the student store leader at Emily Provincial Park. The best part of her job is seeing how happy the kids are when they return from paddling.

Pascale Bider


Here, Pascale sits with some campers at Kettle Lakes‘ Art in the Park program, encouraging visitors to reconnect with nature, meditate in their surroundings, and put their inspiration to paper.

She is incredibly passionate, hard working and a very quick learner. She inspires campers with her enthusiasm.

Scott Steele

Over the past three months, Scott has worked as an Assistant Geographic Information System (GIS) Technician at the East Gate of Algonquin Provincial Park. His projects have included updating the Rock Lake Campground map, improving the accuracy of portage trail digital files, and creating fire protection reference maps detailing park infrastructure.

When asked what his favourite part of his job is, Scott responded: “being able to pursue my passion for environmental assessment and analysis in such an amazing setting.”

Alicia Fortin

Alicia has worked at MacGregor Point Provincial Park for five years and is a camper favourite. She consistently brings her high energy, knowledge and passion to all of her programs. Always enthusiastic about inclusivity, each interpretive program she creates is purposefully developed so all park visitors can participate and enjoy.

Alicia is a recent graduate from University of Guelph with a major in International Development and minor in Gender Equality. This photo is from after a children’s program where she stayed behind to answer additional questions a young camper had about aquatic invertebrates (this one was a caddisfly).

Want to read more about the wonderful youth of Ontario Parks? Check out our Facebook gallery, or tune in to our #IYD2016 posts on Twitter!