Darlington’s daring wetland restoration

In today’s post, Zone Ecologist Corina Brdar shares the exciting restoration story that’s been unfolding at Darlington Provincial Park.

There’s nothing like seeing an idea turn into reality, is there?

Especially when the idea is an enormous one, and it takes tons of cooperation from all kinds of players.

Continue reading Darlington’s daring wetland restoration

Lake land playgrounds

Today’s post comes from Emily Wright, a Discovery Leader at Grundy Lake Provincial Park. The park’s campground is surrounded by three crystal-clear lakes, and that rich biodiversity inspired Emily to take us on an aquatic tour of Ontario’s lakes and some of the complex life cycles contained within, from hard-working microbe clean-up crews to feisty Small-mouth Bass.

Cannonballing into a refreshing lake, casting a line hoping for the “big one,” dipping your paddle into serene waters, or simply enjoying the shifting lights dancing across the water’s surface on a sunny day…

Lakes offer us a plethora of enjoyment, both invigorating as you take a brisk swim, or peaceful and relaxing as you watch a sunset turn the waters from blue-green to wine red.

Continue reading Lake land playgrounds

Join us for Science Literacy Week!

Today’s post comes from Jessica Stillman, school outreach coordinator at Bronte Creek Provincial Park

What do a Polar Bear, a Prickly Pear Cactus, a Five-lined Skink, and a Bobolink all have in common?

Aside from their snazzy names, they’re plants and animals that require unique environments to survive. Some of these special spaces have been changing and disappearing throughout history.

That’s where Ontario Parks comes in. We protect important landscapes, and conduct research on how we can ensure the species living in parks can thrive.

This year, we’re excited to share the science of parks during Science Literacy Week.

Continue reading Join us for Science Literacy Week!

Monarch Butterflies

Today’s post was written by summer student Danielle Bullen from Rondeau Provincial Park.

It’s that time of year again, and across Ontario, we’re starting to see those beautiful orange and black wings.

Monarch Butterflies come all the way from Mexico over a few generations, depending on the amount of milkweed available during their travels, spending summer here in Ontario.

Continue reading Monarch Butterflies

The Piping Plover power couple of Darlington

Today’s blog comes from Piping Plover Biologist Monica Fromberger from Ontario Parks’ southeast zone. 

Every year, Darlington Provincial Park runs a Piping Plover conservation program to help these special endangered shorebirds.

This year, the park’s plover lovers have done it again!

Lovebirds Blue and Miss Howard have successfully hatched, fledged, and raised all four of their chicks to migrate for the second year in a row.

Continue reading The Piping Plover power couple of Darlington

How to build a bat box

Today’s post comes from Rachelle Law, a Discovery leader at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.

Are you looking for a fun do-it-yourself project to do this summer?

Would you love a solution to the amount of pesky mosquitoes in your backyard?

Are you passionate about creating habitats for wildlife?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, this blog is for you!

Continue reading How to build a bat box

The story behind Emily Provincial Park’s pollinator garden

Today’s post comes from Alexander Renaud, a Discovery Program Lead at Emily Provincial Park.

In the summer of 2018, our Discovery staff at Emily Provincial Park wanted to do something BIG to help the park.

Previous years have seen the instillation of turtle nest protection boxes, the collection of species data through a BioBlitz, and the design and creation of a new trail system.

We decided upon creating a pollinator garden!

Continue reading The story behind Emily Provincial Park’s pollinator garden

Do the skies need our protection?

Stars as seen in midnight’s gaze
Stars shining upon shoreline’s haze
Guiding us, teaching us with stories manifold
About ourselves, stars speak, from birth till old.
Their permanence ties us to days gone by
But to hide their secrets, they still do try
To gaze upon them brings dreams of futures bright
But to see them vanish, is to lose much delight.

~Bruce Waters

At Ontario Parks, we’re committed to the protection and preservation of our province’s biodiversity. The night skies in their natural splendour are an important part of that protection.

Continue reading Do the skies need our protection?

Driftwood: shaping shorelines and completing communities

For a while, park staff have been wondering: why do some of our guests who come to visit natural environments feel compelled to leave their mark on that beach, waterfall, or lookout after they’ve left?

At MacGregor Point Provincial Park, we’ve noticed some changes being made to our shorelines by well-meaning sun-seekers who visit our beach for a short time, but leave behind structures made of driftwood.

Staff in our park and others have disassembled several driftwood forts upon discovering them on our beaches, which can be a dangerous task.

Let’s talk about why we’d prefer our visitors to leave driftwood where it lies, and some fun things you can do at the beach instead of building forts.

Continue reading Driftwood: shaping shorelines and completing communities

Why are snakes so misunderstood?

We often hear our visitors say how much they fear or hate snakes.

Ophidiophobia, the name for an intense fear of snakes, is certainly a legitimate condition, and we do not judge anyone who struggles with it.

Many of our own staff are working through this fear. No one chooses to have a phobia. The outdoors should be a place for relaxation and rejuvenation, not the constant fear of a chance encounter with a native species.

Continue reading Why are snakes so misunderstood?