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.
Meghan Pomeroy started with Ontario Parks as a maintenance student, and worked as an Operations Technician and Assistant Park Superintendent at several parks before becoming a Park Planner.
Park planners use legislation, policies and guidelines to write park-specific management plans that guide the protection, operation and development of a provincial park for a 20 year period.
To write a management plan, planners consider at a park’s ecological, geological and cultural features, recreation uses and opportunities, infrastructure needs, and development possibilities. They use this information and consult with Indigenous communities, stakeholders and other members of the public to develop the best long-term plan that ensures the protection of the park’s natural, cultural and recreational features.
1. What is your favourite part of your job?
My favourite part of being a Park Planner is the variety of different things I get to work on and the people with whom I work.
I get to contribute to all sorts of initiatives, including:
- small development or maintenance projects that ensure the smooth operation of our parks
- restoration projects that improve ecological health in and around a park
- long-term management planning for a variety parks
- strategic initiatives like incorporating climate change adaptation into park planning across the province
2. What DON’T people know about your job?
Some people don’t know the job of Park Planner even exists!
I didn’t know about this career path when I started as a student with Ontario Parks. Luckily, I found my way to an interesting, challenging and rewarding job as a Park Planner with the fantastic Southwest Zone of Ontario Parks.
3. What was one of the most exciting days in your job?
Field days are always the best. I’ve participated in:
- ecological, geological, or other inventories to support management planning
- black bear research
- helicopter surveys of parks
- resource management projects like prescribed burning or stocking Atlantic Salmon
4. What provincial park is on your bucket list?
Hmmmm…that’s a hard question. I have visited many provincial parks across the province, and look forward to exploring many more. I have yet to visit our most southern park, Fish Point Provincial Park, which is at the same latitude as northern California.
5. What is your favourite activity, sound, taste, sight or smell in parks?
There are many sounds, tastes, sights and smells that I associated with my favourite activities in parks. For example:
- shore lunches cooked in a cast iron pan over the fire
- sun-baked rock shorelines with wind in nearby white pines
- damp fall hikes with leaves falling
- sunny days in February on ski trails
- wind through bare trees in the spring
- any meal you cook in the backcountry
- paddling a canoe
This list could go on and on…