Today’s post comes from Natural Heritage Education Supervisor Alistair MacKenzie and Bat Stewardship Technician Heather Sanders.
Did you know Pinery Provincial Park has been a bat research hot spot for more than four decades? We’ve collaborated with research groups at York University, Western University and the University of Waterloo.
Much of what we know about Ontario bats — including their migration, diet, and behaviour — is all thanks to work done at Pinery.
Continue reading Pinery goes to battle for bats
The New Year is a time to take stock of where we are and where we are headed. Most of us have made resolutions to change behaviours in order to start anew in 2019: quitting smoking, eating healthier, or exercising more.
Do you consider parks and protected areas when thinking of New Year’s Resolutions?
Continue reading Resolutions for healthier parks
Each year, the Friends leave a lasting imprint on the park, and this year was no different. Their passion for parks is unmatched, and make our parks better for all who visit.
Here are some of the amazing 2018 project accomplishments from the southeastern Friends:
Continue reading Southeastern Friends: this year’s accomplishments
In light of Ontario Parks’ 125th anniversary celebrations and the International Day of Friendship (July 30), this post highlights the history of hard work and support Friends organizations have provided provincial parks over the years.
Continue reading Forever thankful for our Friends
Today’s post comes from Bev Cook, Chairperson of the Friends of Presqu’ile at Presqu’ile Provincial Park.
Every year, Ontario Parks hires hundreds of students to help run parks over the summer.
From maintenance to front gate staff to Natural Heritage Education, our students work hard to keep a smile on our visitors’ faces.
This year, the Friends of Presqu’ile launched an annual bursary program to recognize the efforts of the fine young people who work as summer student employees at Presqu’ile.
Continue reading Celebrating students at Presqu’ile Provincial Park
The next time you walk the boardwalk at Presqu’ile Provincial Park or attend the Huron Fringe Birding Festival at MacGregor Point Provincial Park, thank a Friend.
Friends of Ontario Parks are not-for-profit, charitable organizations full of dedicated volunteers. These volunteers usually hail from a nearby community or they’ve camped in a park that they’ve grown to love and respect. Today, there are 27 not-for-profit Friends organizations dedicated to enhancing the educational, recreational, research and resource protection mandates of the parks they are affiliated with.
If you want to become a Friends volunteer at your favourite park, contact a Friends group directly. But if your park doesn’t have a Friends group and you are interested in starting one, speak to your local park superintendent. http://www.ontarioparks.com/partnerships/
Some of Ontario Parks’ best events are organized by Friends. Here are two you won’t want to miss in 2014:
Continue reading Friends of Ontario Parks
It’s a rite of passage for many die-hard paddlers and it’s only a couple of weeks away….an ice out canoe trip. So what’s the attraction? It’s a moment of celebration, a time for paddlers to break free of the winter blahs, the sweet spot before the annoyance of spring bugs. As long as you’re well prepared, an ice-out paddle can be the ultimate early spring adventure. Continue reading Ice-Out Canoeing: A spring tradition for adventurous paddlers
Hundreds of regional and community events are hosted annually across Ontario and each year Festivals and Events Ontario honours the top 100. Selected as the “best of the best”, the awards acknowledge the dedication it takes to successfully organize and execute some of the top festivals and events in the world.
This year, thanks to the hard work of our Friends Organizations and Staff, Ontario Parks is delighted to announce that three of our events made it on to this prestigious list. If you are looking to spend some time with friends or family, check out why these three events were singled out as “best-in-class”. Continue reading 3 events in Ontario Parks among Top 100 in the Province
Congratulations to Wasaga Beach Provincial Park (WBPP) staff, the many volunteers and the Friends of Nancy Island and Wasaga Beach Park for receiving the prestigious Environmental Commissioner of Ontario’s (ECO) 2013 Recognition Award for their role in protecting the endangered Piping Plovers.
Listed as an endangered species in Canada and the United States, the arrival of the Piping Plovers at Wasaga Beach in 2006 marked a significant turning point as this species had not successfully nested on the Canadian Great Lakes for over 30 years, and had no breeding success at the park in over 70 years.
The Wasaga Beach Provincial Park Piping Plover Program has been helping to foster awareness, appreciation and understanding of the plight of the Piping Plovers in the Great Lakes region for six consecutive years. The program attracted support from many volunteers and community partners. Together the WBPP staff and the Piping Plover Guardians, a group of 40-80 volunteers who work three-hour shifts, monitor the Piping Plovers and protect them from predators daily. And, they do it every day in the middle of one of Ontario’s busiest beaches from spring until late August.
Last year there were 66 breeding pairs in the Great Lakes population of which five were on the Canadian side in Ontario with two nests at Wasaga Beach. Thanks to the tireless efforts of WBPP staff, the volunteers and the community partners, the 2013 program’s success rate was the highest since its inception: 63 per cent of the eggs hatched into fledgling chicks. This is a vast improvement over the 25 per cent average survival rate of Piper Plovers in the wild.
Keep up the great work!
Did You Know?
- The ECO’s Recognition Award acknowledges ministries that best meet the goals of the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993 (EBR) or use the best internal EBR practices.
- WBPP staff monitor the entire 14 km of beachfront starting early in the spring watching for the arrival of piping plovers. Once pair bonds are established, staff monitor courtship and breeding.
- After a single, sand-coloured egg is discovered; staff set up a perimeter fence and the area is closed for 50 metres either side of the egg. A predator enclosure is installed after the fourth egg is laid – this ensures the nest is protected from predators.
- Park staff and Piping Plover Guardians then monitor the plovers on a daily basis from 8 am – 8 pm until the plovers’ departure in late August.