Today’s blog post comes from bird researchers Alex Sutton and Koley Freeman, PhD candidates at the University of Guelph.
In the world of Canada Jays, winter means one thing: it’s breeding season!
Canada Jays are common in Algonquin Provincial Park. Continuing a 55 year-old tradition, a dedicated team of researchers is monitoring breeding pairs. This is the longest study of its kind in the world!
With each passing year, more is learned about the breeding behaviour and life history of these remarkable birds.
Continue reading Keeping up with the Canada Jay
Today’s post was written by Brooke Michell, a Park Biologist at Kawartha Highlands Signature Site Park.
“The love of wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth, the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only paradise we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need.” – Edward Abbey
Some of our most treasured moments occur off the beaten path. In the backcountry of Ontario Parks, the avid hiker, canoe tripper, angler, and outdoors person seeks solitude. Although anyone who has backcountry camped knows it’s not always a walk in the park.
Physical limits are often pushed while portaging through rugged terrain, and paddling across windswept water bodies. At this expense, why is backcountry camping one of our most beloved past times?
Continue reading Low-impact backcountry camping
One of our naturalists left his letter to Santa out on his desk, and we wanted to share a copy, in case anyone out there wants to lend Mr. Claus a hand this year.
I don’t really need a lot this year as I have the privilege of working in one of our great provincial parks: Presqu’ile. Perhaps you’ve visited or seen it as you fly over?
It is pretty easy to pick out from the air, sticking into Lake Ontario like it does. We get lots of birds landing here on migration to rest, which many people like to come and see. You’d be welcome to have a break here too.
Continue reading A naturalist’s letter to Santa Claus
Many of our in-park Halloween events feature campsite decorating contests.
But certain decorations can be harmful to the environment.
Here’s how you can create a super spooky campsite AND protect Ontario’s ecological integrity at the same time.
Continue reading 9 tips for eco friendly Halloween decor
Welcome to our “Considerate Camper” series. These are posts with tips and reminders on how to keep our provincial parks clean and healthy. Already know how it’s done? Please share these posts along for less-experienced campers 🙂
We’re taking a leaf out of the Lorax’s book and speaking for the trees today!
When maintaining our campgrounds, we often notice marks in our trees. Many are from axes and nails, and plenty of trees have names, shapes and initials carved across their bark.
Did you know these holes and gouges risk the tree’s health and may result in its destruction?
Continue reading Considerate Camper: Keep our trees healthy
Packing up your picnic or campsite?
Please be sure your leftover propane cylinders don’t go into the garbage or recycling!
These cylinders contain pressurized gas and chemicals, so safe and proper disposal is crucial to make sure nothing harmful leaks into Ontario’s groundwater and waterways.
Here’s what you should do instead:
Continue reading Empty propane cylinder? Orange Drop to the rescue!
This post comes from Sarah McMichael, Ontario Parks’ Healthy Parks Healthy People Coordinator.
As the snow melts in the spring, you can often spot leftover trash along our roads, sidewalks, and trails.
How many times have you walked past this trash while out for a walk, run, or jog? Did you pick it up, or leave it on the ground?
A new environmentally friendly workout trend is encouraging you to stop and pick up litter during your outdoor exercises.
It’s called plogging, and it’s an amazing way to keep our environment and our bodies healthy at the same time.
Continue reading Let’s go plogging!
Today’s post comes from Natural Heritage Education Leader David Bree at Presqu’ile Provincial Park.
“EI” is a term we use a lot at Ontario Parks.
EI stands for ecological integrity, or the biodiversity and naturalness of an ecosystem. Protecting and restoring the ecological integrity of our provincial parks is vitally important to us.
2018 marks Ontario Parks’ 125th anniversary. To help celebrate this milestone, the public will be invited to give back, learn, and participate in a series of stewardship programs to help protect biodiversity in provincial parks. Stewardship programs include BioBlitz events, invasive species removal, and native species planting to name a few.
At Presqu’ile Provincial Park, our money went towards removal of a nasty invasive species: Buckthorn.
Continue reading OP125 stewardship projects: Bye bye, Buckthorn!
Not sure exactly what “ecological integrity” means? Today’s post from Park Biologist Shannon McGaffey explains how ecological integrity is like music.
Synergy: the creation of a whole that is bigger than the sum of the individual parts
If you are listening to a symphony, you are not listening to two violins, one piano, three flutes, etc. You are listening to music, an art that breaches the realms of spirituality. Music naturally generates measurable energy, but also produces energy beyond that, an energy that humans can feel, but just can’t quite grasp and understand.
Continue reading Ecosystems and music
You’ve recently unwrapped the latest iphone or a shiny new digital camera, perhaps an SLR with some fancy lenses.
Now you have itchy shutter fingers. You’re ready to point our camera at something spectacular and capture a beautiful memory forever. But where to go?
Not to brag, but Ontario Parks are beautiful, iconic places. Covering nearly 10% of the province and protecting some of Ontario’s most rare and scenic habitats, our parks are home to a variety of wildlife, from fascinating insects to enormous moose.
Basically, they’re a photographer’s dreamscape.
We’re animal lovers too. We know how exhilarating wildlife encounters can be. We understand how badly you want that perfect photo.
But before you hit the road, ask yourself: is taking the perfect photograph worth risking an animal’s life or an ecosystem’s health?
If your answer is “no,” check out our list of seven common photography infractions to ensure you’re keeping our parks safe and healthy.
Continue reading Are you an ethical wildlife photographer?