A wriggling invasion

We’d like to highlight one of the greatest threats to Ontario’s natural soil systems – earthworms!

Yes, you read that correctly. Many of us have a hard time picturing earthworms as a destructive force. After all, who hasn’t been told that they’re natural composters, food for cheerfully bopping robins in the spring, and great recyclers in our gardens?

But there’s one important fact about earthworms that most people aren’t aware of: they’re not supposed to be here.

Continue reading A wriggling invasion

Arrowhead staff say, “Hold the mustard!”

Garlic Mustard may sound like a gourmet condiment, but it’s actually an invasive species in North America, introduced from Europe over 100 years ago.

It is a major enemy in the ongoing battle to maintain biodiversity in Arrowhead Provincial Park and many other provincial parks. It’s considered one of Ontario’s greatest forest intruders.

Continue reading Arrowhead staff say, “Hold the mustard!”

Invasive species alert! Water chestnut 101

Today’s post is from Amanda Reed, a digital media organizer in our main office.

Did you know European Water Chestnut is an invasive species?

This destructive plant gained a foothold at Voyageur Provincial Park, and without the ongoing efforts of park staff, it would take over beaches and destroy our wetland. Continue reading Invasive species alert! Water chestnut 101

Earth Day tree planting at Rondeau Provincial Park

To help celebrate our 125th anniversary, Ontario Parks has organized a series of stewardship programs. These events are happening throughout the year and across the province to help protect biodiversity in provincial parks.

Stewardship programs have included BioBlitz events, invasive species removal, and native species plantings.

On Earth Day, park staff and an eager group of volunteers at Rondeau Provincial Park helped to restore the natural habitat in the park by planting native trees and shrubs.

Continue reading Earth Day tree planting at Rondeau Provincial Park

OP125 stewardship projects: Bye bye, Buckthorn!

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!

Mark S. Burnham buckthorn blitz

Today’s post was compiled by Zone Ecologist Corina Brdar, Project Ecologist Christine Terwissen and other members of Team Invasive Alien.

If you’ve visited Mark S. Burnham Provincial Park lately you might have noticed many freshly cut small stumps. This is the result of a recent blitz to remove an alien invasive species — European buckthorn — from the park.

Continue reading Mark S. Burnham buckthorn blitz

5 small ways we protect what’s precious

Here at Ontario Parks, preserving the province’s ecological integrity is always on our minds.

You’ve heard about our bigger projects, like:

But did you know ecological integrity is part of our everyday jobs?

Check out these five “mini” ecological integrity tasks:

Continue reading 5 small ways we protect what’s precious

Our 2016 parks pass is more than just a pretty flower

summer passNoticed the dainty purple flower adorning the 2016 summer pass for Ontario Parks?

It may surprise you to learn that when Ontario Parks staff discovers that flower in a park, they often rip it out by the roots.

That’s because spotted knapweed is…

Continue reading Our 2016 parks pass is more than just a pretty flower

Don’t deck the Scots pine for Christmas

If you’ve visited Presqu’ile Provincial Park lately, you’ve probably spotted staff and volunteers cutting down happy pine trees (during the Christmas season!) and feeding them (*GASP*) into the woodchipper.

You might even have pulled over to ask, in a little Cindy-Lou Who voice: Why are you taking our Christmas tree? Why?

Continue reading Don’t deck the Scots pine for Christmas