Healthy Parks Healthy People Day 2019: events

It’s back! Enjoy FREE day-use at all Ontario Parks on July 19, 2019 for Healthy Parks Healthy People Day!

Spending time in nature is good for our physical and mental health. There are tons of great events occurring across the province to foster appreciation for nature and raise awareness about the benefits of time in nature.

Write yourself a nature prescription and start your weekend early with FREE day-use entry to your favourite provincial park.

Check out our four spotlight events, or scroll down to see park events from across the province:

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Health benefits of fishing

Fishing is an iconic Canadian pastime. There’s nothing like spending the day by the water with your friends and family, casting a line and enjoying the great outdoors.

But did you know you can get more than a killer catch from a day of fishing? Fishing actually has benefits for your physical and mental health.

Here are a few ways fishing can improve your overall well-being.

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8 ways paddling can improve your health

Just when we thought nothing could top the “good for you” news about chocolate…

…research shows that paddling is good not only for our physical health, but for our mental health as well!

Here are some of the benefits that will have you reaching for your paddle:

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Pick green time over screen time

Screens are everywhere. Cell phones, Netflix, and video games can be distractions that keep us inside. It’s easy to spend hours chilling in front of your phone or TV.

These are hours we could be spending being physically active in the outdoors. Excessive screen time has negative impacts on our health, and this is especially concerning when it comes to children. Outdoor physical activity is crucial for healthy development.

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Try a regular dose of camping for good health

Time to reach for our sleeping bags and tents?

Research shows that camping in nature is good for our mental and physical well-being.

What better reason to head out with family and friends into the great outdoors and sleep under the stars?

Check out the brain and body benefits of camping:

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Learning in the forest at MacGregor Point

When you think back to your childhood, what are some of your best memories?

Likely a lot of them involved playing and exploring in the outdoors.

Unfortunately, many children today don’t get this opportunity. Kids are often kept indoors by electronics and other distractions. They miss out on the developmental benefits of outdoor play.

This is where forest school comes in. Forest school combines nature with education for the ultimate outdoor learning experience.

Since September 2017, MacGregor Point Provincial Park has hosted Saugeen Shores Forest School, the first forest school in an Ontario provincial park.

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Finding our place in the wild

Today’s post comes from Heather Greenwood Davis, a travel writer and new camper. 

We forgot the kettle. For real campers, it wouldn’t be a big deal. Real campers would know how to build a fire; real campers would’ve thought to bring a pot.

But I’m not a real camper and I am a coffee lover, so this could’ve been a problem.

Luckily, I know enough about my strengths and weaknesses to have arranged to spend this camping experience in one of the roofed accommodations at Bonnechere Provincial Park. The perfect step between tent camping and a cottage stay, our log cabin offers the warmth and security of a roof and four walls, but only a few of the modern conveniences we’re used to.

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5 ways to empower children to be explorers

Today’s post comes from Camille Koon, a Learning and Education Leader with Ontario Parks. 

“The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see.” – Alexandra K. Trenfor, educator

Every child who visits a park should see it as an exciting adventure waiting to unfold. With lakes, rivers, beaches, forests, fields, and more, the opportunities for discovery are endless.

By observing the diversity of plants and animals found in the outdoors, children discover the wonders of nature and develop a deeper appreciation for it.

Here are five ways we can empower all children to become explorers of the world around them.

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How to raise environmentally conscious kids

Earth Week is an annual reminder of how important it is to celebrate our beautiful planet and do our part to protect it for future generations.

It’s also a timely reminder of how essential it is to instill a love – and respect – of the outdoors in our children. It’s something we can’t start too early.

Recent research shows that if you give kids (aged five to ten) an immersive experience in nature, it will lead to a lifelong love for the environment and a sense of stewardship for the earth. You’ll also likely produce more creative thinkers!

Algonquin Provincial Park Biologist Alison Lake offers these tips on how to raise environmentally conscious kids in an increasingly urban and regulated world:

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