Inspired by Quetico

Today’s post comes from one of Quetico Provincial Park’s 2017 Artists-in-Residence. Heather M. O’Connor is a freelance journalist and children’s author. She is currently working on a middle-grade novel and two picture books, inspired by her 2017 residency. 

I hear the first loon call the moment my foot touches the path.

It’s magical, the sound of the loon. One part greeting, one part grief. This GTA girl, far from home, is grateful for the welcome.

I hurry to the water’s edge, scanning the surface, but I’m too late. Its spell cast, the loon has vanished.

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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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Here’s to another 125 years

As our 125th anniversary year comes to a close, we would like to say a huge thank you for an amazing year.

Now etched into our history, here’s a few of the highlights from this exciting year.

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Accessible outdoors at Arrowhead

In today’s post, Patricia Pyrka (and her son Finnan) share their 2018 visit to Arrowhead Provincial Park

When you love the outdoors and have a child in a wheelchair, things tend to get a bit more complicated.

So complicated that for the first seven years of my son’s life, we never went on hikes. Winter outings were completely off my radar – try to get big and small thin wheels through snow!

At some point, I had had enough. I decided I did want to take my son out into nature. I wanted him to experience places he had never been to before, and share with him what I loved so much: quiet nature, deep forests, mountaintops, rough terrain trails, and changing weather conditions.

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Rolling out the red carpet at Pinery

Today’s story comes from Alistair MacKenzie, Natural Heritage Education and Resource Management Supervisor at Pinery Provincial Park.

I started out my career saving lives.  It was a hard job. Working conditions were awful. I was constantly being asked to bend and twist to what someone else needed me to do. I was dragged through the mud and poked with sticks, even burned with hot embers.

Despite these hardships, I loved aspects of the work, but eventually I just couldn’t keep up, and they pulled me back to base to run me through some tests. Sadly, I failed, and they unceremoniously stripped me of my field approvals and cast me aside.

I thought it was all over, until they boxed me up and shipped me to Pinery Provincial Park.

Continue reading Rolling out the red carpet at Pinery

What a difference a year makes!

Today’s post comes to us from Naturalist Yvette Bree of Sandbanks Provincial Park.

Many visitors to Sandbanks may remember 2017 as the year of high water levels.  Along with many other lakes, Lake Ontario reached record highs in the spring and early summer, resulting in widespread flooding.

As a result, it definitely wasn’t “business as usual.”

Continue reading What a difference a year makes!