Our “Forever protected” series shares why each and every one belongs in Ontario Parks. Our great system of protected areas is based upon a model of representation. In today’s post, Biologist Lauren Trute tells us Petawawa Terrace’s story.
For many families in the area, Petawawa Terrace Provincial Park is literally a park in their backyard.
Unlike many provincial parks in Ontario, Petawawa Terrace is not pristine wilderness. Locally known as the “fish hatchery park,” the 215 ha park is located in the heart of the Town of Petawawa.
This little parcel of protected land belongs in the Ontario Parks system because it gives us a glimpse into Ontario’s history, and represents provincially significant ecosystems and species.
Continue reading Forever protected: why Petawawa Terrace belongs
Today’s post comes from Natural Heritage Education Supervisor Alistair MacKenzie and Bat Stewardship Technician Heather Sanders.
Bats are the only mammal capable of true sustained flight, and with over 1,300 species and counting, they make up the second largest order of mammals.
Continue reading Going batty at Ontario Parks
Today’s post comes from Olivia Pomajba, a summer student at Rondeau Provincial Park.
A turtle hatchling making its way to water reminds us of the perilous journey we all face in life.
The world must seem incredibly vast to these centimetre-long hatchlings, and they face many challenges.
Salamanders are iconic and influential members of northern forest communities. As one of the most abundant vertebrates in eastern North American forests, salamanders are considered “keystone species” because of their disproportionate roles as predators and prey in regulating food webs, nutrient cycling, and contributing to ecosystem resilience-resistance.
In addition to fulfilling key ecological functions, amphibians are our modern-day “canaries in the coal mine,” serving as a measure of environmental health.
Continue reading The Spotted Salamander, harbinger of spring
One of the best parts about spring is that it offers some of the best viewing opportunities for two of Algonquin Provincial Park’s most famous mammals.
May has become famous for moose watching in Algonquin but April is prime time for viewing its smaller, toothier associate, the beaver.
Continue reading April is for beaver-watching at Algonquin
Today’s post comes from Park Naturalist Roger LaFontaine, a classically trained biologist and amateur Sasquatch researcher. He has spent nearly two decades researching and documenting the occurrence of Sasquatch in Ontario.
I have always had an interest in the creatures that others were not fond of: invertebrates under a log, salamanders in the soil, nocturnal creepy crawlies, and even a shy mammal that stays just beyond the light of my campfire.
My interest in obscure creatures began many years ago when I found a strange track along the bank of a river…
Continue reading Beyond the light of the campfire
Today’s post comes from Roger LaFontaine, park naturalist, classically trained biologist and amateur lake monster researcher. He has spent nearly two decades researching and documenting the occurrence of mysterious creatures in Ontario.
We think that we know our lakes and rivers well, but, in reality, we have barely scratched the surface. Unknown to us, the real action may be happening beneath the surface.
Ontario is home to some of the deepest and largest lakes in the world, and many campers and local communities tell stories of strange things seen in their waters. Tales are told of large creatures that can cause rough waters and storms.
But what do we really know about lake monsters?
Continue reading Lake monsters in Ontario Parks
Today’s post comes from Megan and Cora, two of Halfway Lake Provincial Park‘s discovery guides.
As discovery guides, part of our job is inspiring, encouraging, and motivating visitor to explore and discover nature everywhere!
Continue reading Hiking through Halfway Lake, discovery-style
Today’s post comes from Alistair MacKenzie, our Supervisor of Natural Heritage Education and Resource Management at Pinery Provincial Park.
In a province dominated by the rock of the Canadian Shield, sand is rare. If we combined all of Ontario’s coastal sand dunes together, they would only make up less than 0.5% of our province’s land.
We can thank a simple fact of nature for the creation of Pinery Provincial Park and its rare dunes: namely, that differences in temperature between the air over Lake Huron and the adjacent landmass create an on-shore breeze.
Continue reading Dynamic dunes at Pinery
On a clear dark summer or winter night, you can see a cloudy band of light traversing the sky.
This light is known as the Milky Way.
The Milky Way actually has nothing to do with dairy. Instead, it’s the term for the light of hundreds of millions of stars that are so far away we cannot see them as individual points of light. Instead, we see their combined glow as a fuzzy, glowing band of light.
Continue reading The Milky Way Galaxy