A trip down the Pakeshkag River at Grundy Lake Provincial Park

Today’s post comes from Sonje Bols, a naturalist at Grundy Lake Provincial Park.

Part of a park naturalist’s job is to familiarize themselves with the natural and cultural wonders of their park through exploration.

Whether it’s tramping through bogs to catch and identify dragonflies, flipping rocks to look for snakes, or canoeing along ancient Indigenous canoe routes, naturalists set out to observe and explore every inch of their parks so they can bring that knowledge and experience to park visitors and managers.

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So you want to be an Ontario Parks ecologist

Exploring remote forests, searching for rare species. Trekking through fields in hot, heavy gear to eradicate invasive ones. Using technology to monitor the ecosystems in parks and conservation reserves, and communicating conservation science to Ontario’s decision-makers.

Working as a biologist for Ontario Parks is sometimes action-packed and always rewarding.

Are you dreaming of spending your days working to protect and enhance ecological integrity in protected areas?

Well, here are five top tips from Ontario Parks ecologists to help make your dream a reality:

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My journey to becoming a Discovery Guide at Rainbow Falls

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 Caroline Freitag, a Discovery Guide at Rainbow Falls Provincial Park.

When I was a very young child, I was fascinated by leaves and rocks. On walks around my neighbourhood I would collect the biggest, coolest leaf I could find and bring it home to show whichever family member hadn’t been with me when I’d found it.

My preferred method of showing affection to people was to give them a “very cool rock”- usually a piece of gravel I’d found on the side of the road. My one neighbour loves to tell the story of the shy girl who left her piles of pebbles by the garden gate!

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International Women and Girls in Science Day 2020

Happy International Day of Women and Girls in Science!

Our female scientists are absolutely integral to Ontario Parks, working as researchers, biologists, ecologists, and more!

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5 things I love about being a Discovery Guide

Today’s post comes from Madeline McNabb, a 2017 Discovery Guide at White Lake Provincial Park

We all dream of turning our passion into a job.

My chance came this past summer when I worked at White Lake Provincial Park as a Discovery Guide.

The Discovery Program is a new program focusing on inspiring curiosity in park visitors and encouraging exploration of our natural environment. I made so many amazing memories this past summer. There are too many wonderful things I want to share!

After much deliberation, I have narrowed it down to five top reasons why I loved being a Discovery Guide:

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Students: find your summer job at Ontario Parks!

“Working up north was the most empowering experience of my life.”

Nineteen-year-old Katie Baillie-David left the comforts of home to drive 10 hours north to the wilds of Nagagamisis Provincial Park, northwest of Timmins. Visitors come from all over the US and Canada to enjoy the remoteness of the park – the fishing, swimming, northern lights and the quiet, unspoiled landscape – and so did Katie.

What she came away with was a life-changing experience.

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We’re looking for park wardens!

Applications for our 2020 park warden positions are open. Please review the “Park Wardens” section of our careers page, and submit your application using the recruitment contact form. Applications close on March 20.

Ontario Parks currently manages 340 parks. In doing so, we protect over 8.2 million ha of land, lakes and rivers, while providing habitat for over 140 different species at risk. At the same time, we provide recreational opportunities by operating more than 20,000 car campsites, 170 roofed accommodations, and 8,000 backcountry campsites.

How do we do this?

The success of our organization is a direct result of our amazing staff’s hard work. Park wardens are an integral part of our operations, and play a significant role in helping us achieve our goals.

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Winter track surveys

In today’s post, Ecologist Corina Brdar shares the “best part of [her] job.”

I’m an ecologist for Ontario Parks. When people ask me what exactly it is that I do, I have a hard time answering – my job is so diverse and interesting.

So I like to give the example of my favourite job duty: doing winter track surveys for deer.

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