Your first interior trip

These expert tips will help you stay safe and have fun

All of us need a little solitude now and then. So why not consider heading to the backcountry this summer for a little communing with nature extraordinaire. You might just emerge a changed person, never to camp with the madding crowds again.

No matter how long your trip, by trying something new and embracing your inner explorer, you too can join the legions of long distance backpackers, canoeists and backcountry campers who venture into the backcountry every year.

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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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Soundscapes from across Ontario

 One of my favourite signs is from a lookout over the Grand Canyon.  It simply says,

ONE MINUTE.
DON’T READ.
DON’T TALK.
NO PHOTOS.
JUST LOOK…..AND SEE.
It is something that I hope you will do often when you visit our parks or other natural areas in Ontario.  But how about this variation?

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Provincial park wardens: protecting what you value most

“Hey you there, squirrel? Do you have a license to store those nuts?”  Such was a day in the life of Ranger Smith from ye old Jellystone Park where keeping Yogi Bear and other park dwellers in line was job one.

In real life, the job of a provincial park warden is serious business.  Trained to give visitors the safest, most secure visit possible while safeguarding park resources, wardens perform a variety of functions that most visitors may not even be aware of, including:

  • Enforcing the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act (PPCRA) and other related legislation;
  • Protecting park resources by enforcing legislation, providing education and increasing public awareness;
  • Resolving conflicts;
  • Working with other government agencies when necessary;
  • Preparing court documents and testifying in court proceedings, if needed;
  • Ensuring public safety. Continue reading Provincial park wardens: protecting what you value most