naturalists dressed as turtles

Why I love being a park naturalist

As summer fades, we love hearing from our seasonal students. Today’s post is from Michael Berry, a naturalist at Rondeau Provincial Park.

Two years ago when I applied to be a Natural Heritage Education Assistant at Rondeau Provincial Park, I didn’t really know what to expect. I had visited Rondeau a handful of times as a child, but never imagined I would have the opportunity to work there.

Fast forward to present day where being a park naturalist has changed my life forever!

Why you might ask?

Here are a few of my favourite things about being a park naturalist:

Interactions with park guests

Michael teaching campers

Throughout the course of the day, I have many encounters with park guests.

Whether I’m welcoming people into the Visitor Centre, sharing knowledge at programs, or interacting while out in the field, I look forward to each conversation that I have.

We all have different stories, memories, and expertise that make each of us unique. I always love hearing about the experiences and sightings that our guests have to share!

It is always my goal to leave them with a new piece of information.

Treasure hunts

Vivian with Swallowtail

Some days I run programs, while other days I am out in the field tagging monarch butterflies. No matter what the day brings, I’m constantly looking at my surroundings.

Rondeau has more species at risk than any other provincial park! It is also home to many migrating birds in both the spring and fall.

So I’m always on a treasure hunt to find new and interesting things in the park!

Remember: keep your eyes peeled because a new treasure could appear at any moment.

Learning new things

Michael behind display tableSince my first day working at Rondeau, I’ve learned so much! This is my very favourite part of being a park naturalist.

As a naturalist, I’m asked numerous questions throughout the course of the day. This is great because it allows me to share in the journey of discovery with our guests.

What you may not realize is that naturalists ask questions too!

I am most definitely not an expert, but I love learning new things about everything in my park and beyond. Questions are one of my ways of learning and I am continuously finding answers that I know one day I will share with others.

There’s always something new to learn at Rondeau Provincial Park and we hope to leave our park guests with some new “tidbits” of information during their stay.

Get out and explore

So, there you have it: three of my favourite things about being a park naturalist. This job has most definitely impacted my life in a positive way and I look forward to what it has in store for me in the future.

And remember: if you ever have any questions, drop by the Visitor Centre. We’d be more than happy to help you answer any questions that you may have!

I would encourage all of you out there to visit your local provincial park, because you never know: it may just change your life too!