Making Pinery more butterfly friendly

In today’s post, summer student Barbara Alber shares a project she completed this year at Pinery Provincial Park.

Butterflies. They’re beautiful, they’re ecologically significant, and they’re one of the only insects that doesn’t make people squirm.

They’re also in trouble.

Continue reading Making Pinery more butterfly friendly

Why I love being a park naturalist

As summer fades, we love hearing from our seasonal students. Today’s post is from Michael Berry, a naturalist at Rondeau Provincial Park.

Two years ago when I applied to be a Natural Heritage Education Assistant at Rondeau Provincial Park, I didn’t really know what to expect. I had visited Rondeau a handful of times as a child, but never imagined I would have the opportunity to work there.

Fast forward to present day where being a park naturalist has changed my life forever!

Why you might ask?

Here are a few of my favourite things about being a park naturalist:

Continue reading Why I love being a park naturalist

Accessible playground at Murphys Point

Today’s post comes from Josie Grenier, Assistant Superintendent at Murphys Point Provincial Park.

Ontario Parks is working to ensure that everyone can access and enjoy new playgrounds being built or replaced across the province. This involves more planning and consideration than just the design of the climbing structure as you’ll see featured here at Murphys Point Provincial Park.

Continue reading Accessible playground at Murphys Point

5 questions with a northern superintendent

Welcome to our “5 Questions” series! We chat with park staff around the province to give you an inside look at what it’s like to work at Ontario Parks.

Trevor Gibb started with Ontario Parks as a summer student. He worked his way up from park warden to superintendent, earning degrees in geography and education along the way. He now manages Quetico Provincial Park, a vast backcountry park popular with paddlers. Continue reading 5 questions with a northern superintendent

How do provincial parks prepare for forest fires?

Ever wondered how wildfires are handled in parks? Assistant Superintendent Anne Young recounts a recent training exercise completed in her park.

It’s 9:30 am. Thick smoke hangs in the air.

The MNRF Fire Base in Dryden has contacted Aaron Provincial Park to advise that there is a wildfire east of the park. The fire has an east wind; they are predicting it may impact the park by early evening.

The simulation has begun…

Continue reading How do provincial parks prepare for forest fires?

Lost dog reunited with family

Quetico Provincial Park is a world-famous destination for backcountry canoeing, with over 2,000 lakes and 460,000 ha of remote wilderness. You can explore the heart of the park for two days or two weeks.

So when a beloved dog disappeared, the Kareken family searched for two days before finally assuming the worst and returning home — devastated — to North Carolina.

But on July 14, 2016, park staff received a call from a local outfitter.

Continue reading Lost dog reunited with family

5 questions with an ops tech

Welcome to our “5 Questions” series! We chat with park staff around the province to give you an inside look at what it’s like to work at Ontario Parks.

Rachel Windsor has worked in Ontario Parks for six years. She started as a summer maintenance student for two seasons, then moved over to the park store at Presqu’ile Provincial Park. She trained under the park store manager for a season before taking over that role the following year.

Since 2015, Rachel has been acting in the Ops Tech role, taking the lead on the maintenance team and making sure park operations run smoothly.

Continue reading 5 questions with an ops tech

5 questions with a backcountry ranger

Welcome to our “5 Questions” series! We chat with park staff around the province to give you an inside look at what it’s like to work at Ontario Parks.

Jason Lorbetskie has worked as a backcountry ranger in Algonquin Provincial Park for over 17 years. He is currently a Group Leader for Operations South, where his job duties include supervising other rangers, maintaining trails and campsites, and assisting with all facets of the backcountry program.

Continue reading 5 questions with a backcountry ranger

Downed trees become habitat for eastern red-backed salamanders

Today’s post comes from Laura Sagermann, a Natural Heritage Education leader from Bon Echo Provincial Park.

Across Ontario, our provincial parks protect a wide range of diverse ecosystems and habitats from human impact, urban development and other environmental threats.

However, this protected land is not immune to invasive species. These are non-native species that have been introduced (either purposely or accidentally) and have negative effects on a region.

At Bon Echo, the latest invasive species to be found is the insect-fungus combination responsible for beech bark disease.  Continue reading Downed trees become habitat for eastern red-backed salamanders