A brief history of nature education in provincial parks

“Through these interesting and enjoyable experiences which are both educational and recreational, interpretation contributes to the inspirational value of the outdoors and fosters an understanding, an appreciation, and an intelligent use of our parklands.”

– Alan Helmsley, Department of Lands & Forests, 1960

Ontario Parks’ nature programs are designed to help people discover and connect with the natural and cultural history of the park during their visit.

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Then and now: Ontario Parks visitors

This blog post comes from Senior Marketing Specialist Anne Craig. 

It’s the summer of 1963. Lester B. Pearson has just been elected the Prime Minister of Canada, and “It’s My Party” by Lesley Gore is topping the CHUM chart.

Ontario is enjoying a year of economic growth, riding on the tails of a booming manufacturing sector. One of the most popular summer vacations is camping at a provincial park.

But campers were a lot different in 1963 than they are today. Let’s take a look at some of the differences between what campers were like in 1963, and today.

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Top 8 historical experiences in Ontario Parks

The landscapes of our provincial parks are like a vault of stories waiting to be opened.

This post showcases the top eight historical experiences across the province that shed light on the unique history of the land.

Discover the mosaic of Ontario’s rich cultural history while visiting our parks!

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Looking up at Mars

Did you know that we can see surface detail on Mars with even a small telescope?

Mars’ orbit is somewhat elliptical (egg-shaped) meaning that about every two years or so, Mars comes closer to the Earth becoming both brighter and larger in visual appearance if looking through a telescope.

Mars has a number of interesting features including polar caps, massive volcanoes and an incredibly large canyon. Continue reading Looking up at Mars

From prisoner of war camp to provincial park

Today’s post comes from Laura Myers, a Marketing Specialist with Ontario Parks.

Approximately 70 years ago, Neys Provincial Park’s campground looked very different than it does today.

During World War II, the area now known as Neys Provincial Park was referred to as Neys Camp 100.

Instead of campers, it mainly held high-ranking German prisoners of war (POW). The camp operated from 1941 to 1946.

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Voices of the river: exploring the French River Visitor Centre

Today’s post comes from Dave Sproule, a Natural Heritage Education Specialist in our Northeast Zone. 

Can you hear the water speak?  The waters of the French River have many voices.

These voices travelled the river and lived along its shores. The French River has been a conduit for people, goods, and culture for thousands of years. The voices of the river are celebrated at the spectacular French River Visitor Centre.

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