In our “Behind the Scenes” series, Discovery Program staff across the province share a backstage glimpse of their favourite programs and projects. Today’s post comes from Anna Scuhr, Discovery Program staff member at Lake Superior Provincial Park.
Many joys come along with being an Ontario Parks’ Discovery Guide. We work in some of Ontario’s most beautiful places, with coworkers who share our passions, and a job that is never dull.
Continue reading The joy of answering interesting questions
Today’s post comes from Habitat Stewardship Technician Justin Johnson from Pinery Provincial Park. Justin has a M.Sc. in biology with a focus on bird acoustics.
Birders are an interesting breed of people. Sometimes everything they do seems to subvert the norms of society.
Sleeping in? Rather not. Too much coffee? No such thing. $4500 binoculars? Yeah, I’ve seen it.
Birders’ bread and butter is local natural spaces and their trails. They can be very particular about which trails they walk. Seasoned birders often only use trails they perceive as “birdy,” neglecting those off their sacred path.
But how do we really know which trails are the “birdiest?”
Continue reading Uncovering the “birdiest” trail at Pinery
Today’s article comes from our bird recording specialists, Zone Ecologist Ed Morris and Zone Operations Technician Rebecca Rogge.
Birds are interesting. Most are visually striking, with noteworthy songs to match their brilliant feathers.
They are also very important.
Birds contribute to the health of our environment. They disperse seeds, pollinate plants, and help to control insect populations.
They have direct and indirect effects on human health and well-being as well.
The medical community recognizes the health benefits of spending time with nature and for many people, their connection with the natural world is through birds.
Continue reading Monitoring birds in northern protected areas
With the end of summer approaching, our Learn to Camp – Book an Ambassador program is winding down for the season.
Whether you learned how to build campfires, became familiar with Ontario’s wildlife, or participated in another one of our educational programs, our ambassadors hope to see you in our park next summer mastering your newly-learned skills!
Continue reading Saying farewell to summer with Learn to Camp
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 and youth from around the province:
Continue reading International Youth Day 2022
Today Yvette Bree, a Discovery Leader at Sandbanks Provincial Park for over 30 years, shares some thoughts about this season.
I am pretty lucky: I live in a great country, a great province, and have enjoyed a career in a stunningly beautiful park.
Usually my job is to inspire visitors to appreciate the natural world around them, to breathe life into history, and to encourage stewardship so they will respect not only this park, but take these ideals home with them.
Continue reading Worst of the worst: a naturalist’s list of the most harmful types of litter
In today’s post, Rondeau Provincial Park Interpreter Shane Smits will take us through identifying just a few of the many sparrow species found in Ontario.
For several reasons, whether rightfully so or not, sparrows are often overlooked when it comes to birdwatching.
For starters, they tend to be plentiful. There are usually many sparrows seen hopping around near the forest floor or within dense cover.
But seemingly the most common reason to overlook sparrows amongst beginner bird watchers — that “all sparrows look the same” — is actually a misconception.
This is admittedly something that I have said on multiple occasions. Here’s why it’s wrong. Yes, all sparrows have their similarities. But after spending some time getting to know these little brown birds, their differences become more apparent.
Continue reading Sparrows: it’s all in their heads
In today’s post, our Algonquin Zone Marketing Specialist Andrea Coulter shares how a summer of cleaning washrooms turned her into a public washroom etiquette crusader.
After more than 15 years with Ontario Parks, I still remember my first position most vividly (you never forget cleaning poop off the beach…). I was eighteen years old, and spent the summer working maintenance with Ontario Parks.
After that season of wiping footprints off toilet seats, cleaning clumps of hair from washroom sinks, and scraping waste off the floor, there are some things I started doing (and some things I would never do again):
Continue reading What it’s like to be a washroom cleaner at Ontario Parks
This is a story about garbage.
It wasn’t a quick journey. It took a plane ride, some paddling in a canoe, portaging, more paddling, another plane ride, and a drive on the highway.
This garbage was left in Algonquin Provincial Park’s remote backcountry, something that, unfortunately, happens far too often.
Continue reading Planes, paddles and portages: a journey of garbage
Last spring, we asked you to help us protect Ontario’s eight turtles species, all of which are species at risk.
With just one year of the Turtle Protection Project under our belts, staff are already seeing amazing results.
This year, we’re excited to debut a new way to support turtle conservation in Ontario Parks: our Turtle Protection Project merchandise line.
Let’s take a look at how you can help Ontario’s turtles AND look good while doing it.
Continue reading Shell-ebrate Ontario’s turtles with our new merchandise line