Improving accessibility at North Beach Provincial Park

A day on the beach is an essential Ontario Parks experience. There’s almost nothing better than soaking in the sun, relaxing on the sand, or playing in the water with friends and family.

This summer, John Cairns, from the Wheelchair of Hope Foundation, helped make this possible for all North Beach Provincial Park visitors through the donation of two wheelchair-accessible Mobi-Mats.

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The joy of answering interesting questions

In our “Behind the Scenes” series, Discovery Program staff across the province share a backstage glimpse of their favourite programs and projects. Today’s post comes from Anna Scuhr, Discovery Program staff member at Lake Superior Provincial Park.

Many joys come along with being an Ontario Parks’ Discovery Guide. We work in some of Ontario’s most beautiful places, with coworkers who share our passions, and a job that is never dull.

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Stars over Killarney, 2019: an Indigenous astronomy learning experience

Today’s post comes from Bruce Waters, a former educator at the McLaughlin Planetarium and founder of the Killarney Provincial Park Observatory.

Astronomy is a field of science that embraces an inquiring mind, and knows that there are often many perspectives in which to learn, to study and to appreciate the cosmos and beyond.

In this International Year of Indigenous Language, Ontario Parks was fortunate to host a truly amazing event featuring Indigenous astronomy and cultural learning.

“[This] event was a great example of how collaborations that are built upon mutual respect can foster and support true Reconciliation,” said Luke Wassegijig, Wikwemikong Tourism Manager.

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Owl-induced whiplash

In today’s post, Alistair MacKenzie, Naturalist Heritage Education Supervisor at Pinery Provincial Park, recounts a dramatic encounter with an Eastern Screech Owl. © Can Stock Photo Inc. / mlorenz.

We desperately needed to confirm breeding evidence for Eastern Screech Owls in our survey squares for the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas back in 2005.

It was our last chance given that the atlas was wrapping up the collection period and I was frustrated since I confidently knew that screech owls did indeed breed in the park, but sadly we just hadn’t managed to be in the right place at the right time to confirm it.

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201.9 fm Learn to Camp: we’ve been everywhere, man

You are tuning in to the 201.9 fm Learn to Camp station. We will be your disc jockeys for this blog, and will be playing some of the sweet, sweet sounds of summer.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy reading about the “sites” and scenes of our Learn to Camp season!

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True beginnings in nature: four generations of campers

Today’s post comes from Rebecca van Massenhoven, a Learn to Camp leader at Grundy Lake Provincial Park.

In 1951, at the age of forty, my great-grandmother crossed the Atlantic Ocean with her family on the ocean liner The Volendam. She wanted a better future for her family, and moved to Canada in search of this dream.

I can still recall her burning curiosity about the world around her. From spiders to birds, she loved learning about nature and often spent time sharing this passion with the family. As a child, I sat in her bay window watching the birds that came to her feeder as she told me about them as if they were her dear old friends.

My story truly began with my great-grandmother’s passion for the environment. In each of the four generations that have come to call Canada home, we continue to foster her love of the natural environment as our own.

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Quetico’s wilderness voices

Today’s post comes from Jill Legault, an information specialist at Quetico Provincial Park.

Quetico’s oral histories have been locked away on archival cassettes at the John B. Ridley Research Library — until now.

Courtesy of history enthusiasts from the University of Wisconsin Whitewater, they have come out of the vault and into our ears.

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Preserving international dark skies at Quetico

Today’s post comes from Chris Stromberg, Acting Backcountry Operations Specialist at Quetico Provincial Park and Coordinator for the Heart of the Continent Partnership.

This past July, four teams of Ontario Parks and US Forest Service wilderness rangers / park wardens went into the woods to observe the nights of the new moon.

Along with their usual assignments of ensuring compliance, clearing portages, restoring campsites, and acting as park/forest ambassadors, they were out collecting sky quality metre (SQM) readings during the darkest hours of the evening.

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The story behind Emily Provincial Park’s pollinator garden

Today’s post comes from Alexander Renaud, a Discovery Program Lead at Emily Provincial Park.

In the summer of 2018, our Discovery staff at Emily Provincial Park wanted to do something BIG to help the park.

Previous years have seen the instillation of turtle nest protection boxes, the collection of species data through a BioBlitz, and the design and creation of a new trail system.

Last summer, we decided upon creating a pollinator garden!

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