5 questions with an ops tech

Welcome to our “5 Questions” series! We chat with park staff around the province to give you an inside look at what it’s like to work at Ontario Parks.

Rachel Windsor has worked in Ontario Parks for six years. She started as a summer maintenance student for two seasons, then moved over to the park store at Presqu’ile Provincial Park. She trained under the park store manager for a season before taking over that role the following year.

Since 2015, Rachel has been acting in the Ops Tech role, taking the lead on the maintenance team and making sure park operations run smoothly.

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Campsite vacancy highlights: June 24-26

Summer has officially begun!

Taking your RV on a road-trip this St. Jean Baptiste Day weekend? A lot of parks still have lots of campsites available — including some great waterfront spots to provide the perfect spot for the first swim of the summer.

Scout out your ideal campsite on our Campsite Browsing/Reservation tool (including pictures of most campsites!), or check out these featured campsites (available as of noon, June 23):

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Campsite vacancy highlights: May 20-23

Looks like Ontario’s getting great weather for the Victoria Day long weekend, and it’s not too late to book a camping getaway!

In northern, central and southern Ontario, many parks still have a good selection of sites available, especially for tent campers. In the north, there are even a few roofed accommodations available!

Scout out your ideal campsite on our Campsite Browsing/Reservation tool (including pictures of most campsites!), or check out these featured campsites (available as of noon, May 19):

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10 reasons you should try spring camping

To many, camping brings visions of sunshine, the leaves trembling as the trees slowly sway in the wind, sand and waves gently crashing around your toes as you enjoy your days on the beach. Your face is flush with your first dose of spring sunshine and your ears are filled with the beautiful songs of migrating birds.

Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

Here are our top ten reasons to try spring camping this season:

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Get outdoors for March Break 2016

Give your kids a sensory treat on March Break. Getting outside and exploring the natural world is a chance for kids to balance virtual with real.

According to research, that’s a good thing for a child’s overall health, development, creativity and joy.

Join one of our special events or create your own exciting park adventure.

Below are five March Break ideas to get you started:

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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?

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Winter events at Ontario Parks

Ontario Parks host the BEST winter events!

We’re starting the season with a December Victorian Christmas celebration at Oakville’s Bronte Creek Provincial Park, and wrapping up winter with a late March Candlelight Ski and Tea at northwestern Ontario’s Quetico Provincial Park.

And there’s lots going on in between.

We’ve highlighted a sample of what’s planned. For a complete listing, visit our Calendar of Events.

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Monarchs and Migrants at Presqu’ile

September is the perfect time to catch migratory birds and butterflies on their way south, and the Great Lakes shoreline gives nature-lovers a front-row seat!

Don’t miss Presqu’ile Provincial Park‘s annual Monarchs & Migrants Weekend (September 4-6, 2015), featuring bird banding, monarch tagging, guided adventures, children’s programming and more!
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Why parks matter

David Bree (Senior Natural Heritage Leader, Presqu’ile Provincial Park)

Why do Parks Matter?  Unfortunately that is becoming an increasingly pertinent question in an age where screen time outweighs nature time on a regular basis.

Working in a park, I can answer that question in a number of ways.  The most obvious perhaps is that parks provide protection for a great many habitats, which in turn provide space and resources for the animals and plants of the province to function in a normal fashion.  This is in essence the definition of biodiversity, a whole bunch of things living and interconnecting in a complex web.  This is a bit of a catch word these days, but maintaining a high biodiversity in our world has been shown to make for a more robust and healthy environment. And a healthy environment is integral to our survival – it supplies our air, our water and our food, just to name the most obvious and crucial elements of life.  While to me this is a compelling and obvious argument, it has become sterile to many ears that have been bombarded by warnings of environmental doom and gloom all their lives.  After a while people just don’t hear.

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