Why we should all aspire to be naturalists

In today’s post, Algonquin Provincial Park‘s David LeGros wishes everyone a happy Darwin Day!

Today, it seems that we know so much about the world around us: how it works, what lives here, and what threatens it.

Truthfully, it would be arrogant to think that we know it all — we don’t.

Discovering and explaining how the natural world works involves a lot of observations, patience, note-taking, comparisons, and creativity. It means spending time out in nature, observing the changing seasons, looking at how organisms interact with each other, their prey and predators, and their respective habitats.

Scientists have documented a great deal of life on Earth, but many species still remain undiscovered and understudied, and lots are only described and named and we know hardly anything more.

Continue reading Why we should all aspire to be naturalists

International Women and Girls in Science Day 2021

Happy International Day of Women and Girls in Science!

Our scientists are absolutely integral to Ontario Parks, working as researchers, biologists, ecologists, and more!

Continue reading International Women and Girls in Science Day 2021

So you want to be an Ontario Parks ecologist

Exploring remote forests, searching for rare species. Trekking through fields in hot, heavy gear to eradicate invasive ones. Using technology to monitor the ecosystems in parks and conservation reserves, and communicating conservation science to Ontario’s decision-makers.

Working as a biologist for Ontario Parks is sometimes action-packed and always rewarding.

Are you dreaming of spending your days working to protect and enhance ecological integrity in protected areas?

Well, here are five top tips from Ontario Parks ecologists to help make your dream a reality:

Continue reading So you want to be an Ontario Parks ecologist

Butterball’s story

Today’s post comes to us from David Bree, our Discovery Program Lead at Presqu’ile Provincial Park.

Butterball was a bit of a miracle child.

The way the year went, it was amazing that his egg was ever laid, let alone hatched. And he never should have flown.

But, somehow, he did.

To truly understand Butterball’s story, and the miracle it was, we must go back eight years. And oh yeah, you should know: Butterball is a Common Tern.

Continue reading Butterball’s story

My 50 trees challenge

Today’s post comes from Sheila Wiebe, a Marketing and Development Specialist at Bronte Creek Provincial Park.

I recently celebrated the halfway point in my life. The milestone of 50 years on this Earth, half a century.

As I usually do around my birthday I reflected on the past year: the accomplishments, the challenges, and everything in between.

I felt like I needed to do something to commemorate the occasion. Continue reading My 50 trees challenge

The life of a resource steward

Today’s post comes from Rebecca Rogge, a travelling resource steward for the Northeast Zone.

I first started working for the Northeast Zone Resource Steward Program back in 2011. It seems like a lifetime ago.

At the time, it was a relatively new job in Ontario Parks. The program had only been around for a few years, and few of us existed.

Several parks were created in 1999, the majority of which were “non-operating” provincial parks. They generally do not have facilities or dedicated staff. Many protect recreational waterways and nature reserves protect rare flora, fauna and geological landscapes.

This is where we, the resource stewards, spend most of our time. In these wonderfully beautiful and diverse places.

Continue reading The life of a resource steward

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…

Continue reading How will I know ecological integrity when I see it?