One of our naturalists left his letter to Santa out on his desk, and we wanted to share a copy, in case anyone out there wants to lend Mr. Claus a hand this year.
I don’t really need a lot this year as I have the privilege of working in one of our great provincial parks: Presqu’ile. Perhaps you’ve visited or seen it as you fly over?
It is pretty easy to pick out from the air, sticking into Lake Ontario like it does. We get lots of birds landing here on migration to rest, which many people like to come and see. You’d be welcome to have a break here too.
But even though I work in a great place there are a few things I am wishing for that perhaps you can help with?
You see, even though parks are great places, we do have our problems. Someone once stated our provincial parks are “Islands of Hope,” protected green spaces in the fabric of Ontario’s landscape.
But really, being an island is not all that much fun. Many of us, particularly in southern Ontario, are too small to be complete healthy environments. We need the land and people around us to help out.
So with that in mind I would like to ask for the following:
1. Help people keep green spaces between our parks
They don’t have to be protected land, but someplace that deer and fishers and even porcupines can move through safely. Many of our larger mammals need to migrate in and out of parks.
And with our climate changing, if it gets warmer, animals and even plants will need to migrate through the generations to more suitable locations. That means we need to keep our green spaces green.
2. Help the people of Ontario with their waste management
Ontario does pretty well with our recycling program, but being a peninsula that sticks out into Lake Ontario, it is amazing what kind of garbage washes up on our beach every day!
We obviously still have work to do on reducing our garbage and disposing of it properly. The old slogan “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” is just as important today as it was when I was a kid.
3. Help people get a chance to appreciate our natural spaces next year
Studies have shown that getting a regular connection with nature makes for a healthier, more stress-free life. We will all live happier lives together if we get out to parks more often.
Maybe you can get every family in the province a seasonal park pass? They are a great deal and can be used at any park, not just Presqu’ile.
4. Help us protect our Islands of Hope…
…so that they will continue to be both great places to visit and protected refuges for our plants and animals, so that these creatures will always be with us, not just in parks but throughout Ontario.
You see, many of our parks are being overrun by invasive species, plants and animals that are not supposed to be here. They hurt our native species. We are trying to keep these out of our parks, but it takes time, money and person power, both staff and volunteers. If we all work together, I know we can get it done.
5. And can you please send a gyrfalcon to come live at Presqu’ile this winter
I’ve never seen one of those birds before and would like to add it to my life bird list.