Nature journaling — just try not to be inspired

This article was written (and illustrated!) by Courtney Lafleur, Senior Park Clerk at Murphys Point Provincial Park.

Time spent in nature can have a profound and lasting positive effect on our physical and mental health, and journaling has long been heralded for its own health benefits. Put them together and you’ve got nature journaling; an activity that inspires creativity, mindfulness and connectivity with nature.

In the simplest terms, nature journaling is about looking at the natural world around you and recording your thoughts and observations. You don’t need a lot to get started, just a piece of paper and something to write with.

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Spring birding festivals

The songbirds are returning and bringing spring with them!

Catch a bird-banding demonstration, take in a nature photography workshop, or sign on for a bird-themed hike with our park naturalists.

If you love songbirds, you won’t want to miss the Ontario Parks spring birding festivals:

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The pannes of Presqu’ile

The late-winter wait for spring can be almost painful. Enough of cold, snow and hibernating wildlife. When can I go outside without a jacket? Disappearing snow, robins on the lawn might be enough for some, but not for me.

Then finally…Yes! I hear it. rrrrRRRRT, rrrrRRRRT, rrrrRRRRT! The Presqu’ile Provincial Park pannes have come through once again with my first real sign of spring – the calling of the Western Chorus Frogs.

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7 iconic vistas of northwestern Ontario

Today’s post comes from Barb Rees, Discovery Program/Marketing Specialist with Ontario Parks’ Northwest Zone.

Ontario Parks is fortunate to be able to both protect and showcase an abundance of natural vistas across the province.

While some locations are relatively easy to access, others will challenge you before rewarding you with their amazing views.

Here are seven of northwest Ontario Parks’ top iconic vistas to discover and explore this season.

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Darlington’s daring wetland restoration

In today’s post, Zone Ecologist Corina Brdar shares the exciting restoration story that’s been unfolding at Darlington Provincial Park.

There’s nothing like seeing an idea turn into reality, is there?

Especially when the idea is an enormous one, and it takes tons of cooperation from all kinds of players.

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How will I know ecological integrity when I see it?

Preserving ecological integrity is a priority for all of us here at Ontario Parks. But just what does ecological integrity look like? Algonquin Provincial Park Naturalist David LeGros explains…

When I start many of my evening programs at Algonquin, I often ask the audience if they like nature.

Usually I get a lot of hands up in the air, but there are always a few that don’t put their hands up. I tell those people, “You might be in the wrong place, because Algonquin is crawling with nature.” I know these folks may have not been paying attention to what I was saying or chose not to participate in my survey, but it always gets a laugh from the crowd.

However, this did get me thinking about why we go to parks over staying home or visiting a big city…

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5 kid friendly signs of spring

Today’s post comes from MacGregor Point Provincial Park, courtesy of Natural Heritage Education Leader Matt Cunliffe.

Longer days give back extra hours of outdoor play and provide the perfect opportunity to explore our trails with the kids.

So don some comfy clothes and head to your favourite park (Bonus: spring involves far less work for getting the young ones ready for a hike!).

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Five outdoor activities to improve your health

Who needs a gym membership when you have the outdoors?

Outdoor exercise has a stronger effect on blood pressure and mood than indoor exercise. Stress is relieved within minutes of exposure to nature as measured by muscle tension, blood pressure, and brain activity.

To put it simply, time spent outside is good for you! On World Health Day, let’s take a look at a few fun outdoor activities that can improve your health.

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