Interpreting Ontario: introducing Ontario Parks’ interpreters

Today’s post comes from Cathy Entwhistle, the Natural Heritage Education Leader and Volunteer Coordinator at Bronte Creek Provincial Park.

Reading the title, you might think this blog is about the many languages featured in Ontario.

While Ontario Parks is visited by dozens of different language speakers each year and we do our best to communicate with everyone, the staff we call “interpreters” might only speak one language (or at least, one human language).

In Ontario Parks, an interpreter’s job is actually to interpret Ontario’s nature and history for our many park visitors.

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The Year of the Salamander and Natural Heritage Education

 In an age when kids are so plugged in to technology, Mother Nature can be the de-stressor a child needs to lead a healthy life. 

 Natural Heritage Education (NHE) programs at Ontario Parks teach kids to appreciate and respect nature. The hands-on, entertaining activities offered every summer are free with a valid day or overnight Ontario Parks permit. Best of all, they’re led by qualified staff who understands the area’s ecology.  Use the Park Locator on the Ontario Parks web site to locate parks with NHE programming.  

Spotted Salamander in Algonquin Provincial Park.

David Legros is the NHE leader at Algonquin Provincial Park. Beginning as a Laurentian University MSc graduate, David has been involved with the Bat Lake Inventory of Spotted Salamanders (BLISS) in Algonquin Provincial Park. This project is slated to become the largest salamander monitoring project in North America. It operates on a shoestring budget and is coordinated by Patrick Moldowan, an MSc Biology Candidate at Laurentian University. *  Glenn Tattersall, a Professor at Brock University, officially began the BLISS project in 2008 and has been instrumental in supporting students throughout the salamander study.

 Salamanders are great predictors of a forest’s health. Many are threatened worldwide so conservationists have named 2014 the Year of the Salamander. Spring is when salamanders migrate in Algonquin Provincial Park. This wonderful story from the point-of-view of a male salamander takes place during spring migration and breeding. It was written by Patrick Moldowan and inspired by NHE leader, David LeGros (who is not an amourous salamander). 

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