The people I’ve met in parks…

Stroll the halls at our main office, and you’ll find many a former naturalist, ops tech and superintendent. So many of our long-time team members started their careers in a favourite provincial park. In today’s post, Eva Paleczny — now working centrally as a Learning & Education Specialist — recounts her time working in a park. 

As a park naturalist at Lake Superior Provincial Park, I met so many people, some just briefly and others year after year.

And the diverse array of visitors I’ve met while working with Ontario Parks has been one of the best parts of my job!

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A bonding family experience in the #OPescape RV

Today’s post comes to us from Paula Schuck (@inkscrblr), the writer behind Thrifty Mommas Tips, and our next #OPescape content creator to travel around Ontario’s provincial parks in our wrapped RV

A few weeks ago, I listened to a podcast about the brain and nature’s impact on health, and I learned that time spent in natural surroundings impacts immune function, weight, and blood pressure as well as attention deficit disorder.

The impact of even a three day break when spent outdoors enjoying nature lasts months and leaves you in better health mentally and physically.

After learning that, I was more eager than ever to leave on our first ever RV trip (in celebration of Ontario’s Parks 125th anniversary). I needed to see for myself if it was true. Would the experience change us?

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Southern Muskoka’s “living edge”

“The living edge.” It sounds more like a Bond film than a trail name, until you follow it through the woods.

The Living Edge Trail in Six Mile Lake Provincial Park is only a kilometre long, but it crosses such a variety of landscapes and habitats that it seems much longer.

It also spans time, giving visitors a close look at how the glaciers impacted the land thousands of years ago. Six Mile Lake Provincial Park is small on the outside, but big on the inside.

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Tree-mendous times at the Giant

This post comes to us from Lesley Ng, Natural Heritage Education Leader at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park

Recently, park staff removed three outhouses from Marie Louise Lake Campground, leaving a blank footprint.

With funds available for Ontario Parks 125th anniversary stewardship initiatives, Sleeping Giant submitted a proposal to plant a few more trees this season.

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Sparking memories with tent nostalgia

Today’s post comes from Rachel DeGreef, Project and Communications Assistant with Ontario Parks. 

We can all agree that the smell of a campfire and fresh pine can bring us back to our fondest camping memories.

Science tells us that olfactory senses are the strongest memories we have. John Leadston, Project Manager at Arrowhead Provincial Park, shares that “the smell of that canvas [tent] takes me back to a place I would return to in a heartbeat.”

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Then and Now: park entrance signs

In celebrating our 125th anniversary, we have been digging through our archives in search of vintage photos and documents. 

Driving up to your favourite park, seeing that park entrance sign can feel like coming home. Today, we’re taking a look at some Ontario Parks entrance signs and how they have evolved through the ages!

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The makings and teachings of the birchbark canoe

Chuck Commanda grew up part of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, an Algonquin First Nation. As a young boy, he helped his grandparents make birchbark canoes. Now, years later, Chuck enjoys sharing his knowledge and showcasing his skills to the public.

Chuck recently attended the “Politics of the Canoe” workshop in Winnipeg, where he says much of the discussion focused on reconciliation through the canoe.

“The canoe is a shared experience that all Indigenous and non-Indigenous people can relate to. That makes it an effective tool for reconciliation.”

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Greetings, Boozhoo, Aaniin, Sekoh, Wachay, Ullakut!

National Indigenous Peoples Day invites us to learn more about Indigenous history, perspectives and culture, and helps us build stronger relationships rooted in mutual respect and understanding.

We’re taking the opportunity to spotlight some of the wonderful partnerships and events shared with us by Indigenous leaders and communities across Ontario:

Continue reading Greetings, Boozhoo, Aaniin, Sekoh, Wachay, Ullakut!

7 reasons your family will fall in love with Bonnechere Provincial Park!

Looking for a new park to explore with your family? How about a park that offers great swimming, paddling, and hiking and will have your kids picking books from a tree?

Bonnechere Provincial Park — located in Killaloe, ON (just 2 hours from Ottawa) — is one of the Ottawa Valley’s hidden gems.

Here are some of the reasons your family will love this park:

Continue reading 7 reasons your family will fall in love with Bonnechere Provincial Park!