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?

The curious Conopholis plant

Today’s post comes from Maddie Bray, a naturalist at Awenda Provincial Park.

As park naturalists, we get asked all sorts of questions about various organisms that live within the park. Campers will describe the call of a bird they didn’t quite see or the colouring of an insect that was just too quick to photograph.

One of these questions in particular always seems to come up in the summertime – what are those pale yellow things sticking up out of the ground?

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What a difference a year makes!

Today’s post comes to us from Naturalist Yvette Bree of Sandbanks Provincial Park.

Many visitors to Sandbanks may remember 2017 as the year of high water levels.  Along with many other lakes, Lake Ontario reached record highs in the spring and early summer, resulting in widespread flooding.

As a result, it definitely wasn’t “business as usual.”

Continue reading What a difference a year makes!

Orchids of the north: the life of the Pink Lady’s Slipper

When you hear the name “orchid,” you may automatically think of some bizarre or fantastically coloured flower from some remote and steamy tropical jungle.

But not all orchids hail from tropic climes.

If you’ve taken a hike in the woods in many of our provincial parks you’ve probably seen some native orchids.

Continue reading Orchids of the north: the life of the Pink Lady’s Slipper