Open eyes, open mind: nature journaling with kids

In today’s post, Discovery Leader Carlin Thompson from Sandbanks Provincial Park shares her top tips for nature journaling with kids.

We did it, parents! We made it through another winter.

The struggle of tackling young children into layered outerwear and the scavenger hunts for matching mittens now seem like a distant memory. What sweet relief.

But before the unbridled joy of shucking the outerwear gives way to sunscreen-application-induced carpal tunnel and the din of summer boredom, let’s capitalize on our children’s excitement to be outside.

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Can we bring painted rocks to the park?

Art and nature go together like columbine flowers and hummingbird tongues.

Indigenous artists express their relationship to land through art; Canada’s Group of Seven found inspiration in several Ontario Parks; parks offer residency programs, and our park visitors find many artistic ways to capture their memories. We love it when visitors share their artistic creations with us.

However, a new trend is starting to cause problems province-wide: the painted rock.

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Experience more of nature by journaling

Today’s blog post comes from Corina Brdar. When Corina’s not working at Ontario Parks, she is actively involved in the growing nature journaling and mindfulness community.

A different way to be mindful in nature is through nature journaling. Using  writing and sketching as tools can be a calming way to look more deeply and experience nature more fully.

Like our previous mindfulness exercises, this too is a judgment-free practice.  You’re not creating a piece of art. You’re using a notebook to help you pay attention and truly observe.

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This mindfulness moment brought to you by nature….

Today’s blog post comes from Ecologist Corina Brdar. When Corina’s not working at Ontario Parks, she is actively involved in the growing nature journaling and mindfulness community.

It seems the term “mindfulness” is showing up everywhere in our lives these days. It can be a tricky concept to try out in your everyday life, though. An easy place to give it a try is in nature.

At the very least, some mindful time in nature can allow your busy brain a moment of rest and your nervous system an opportunity to hit pause. It can also bring a new richness to your outdoor experiences.

So what is mindfulness, and how do you “do” it in nature?

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Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Group of Seven

In today’s post, Assistant Discovery Program Leader Emma Dennis invites us to reflect on Killarney Provincial Park’s landscapes, past and present.

When I was young, we used to play a game where we would stand or sit in one spot, and use our imaginations to create an idea of what might have happened there years before us.

At that age, our ideas were that perhaps dinosaurs roamed in that same area or the princess kissed the frog in that same place hundreds of years ago (and they lived happily ever after!).

Today, I find myself playing a similar game as I explore Killarney Provincial Park.

However, my record of historical events is slightly more accurate.

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Finding inspiration through nature

This blog post comes from Laura Myers, a Learning and Education Leader with the Ontario Parks Discovery Program.

Provincial parks are powerful places filled with inspiring elements. They have inspired artists for countless generations and continue to draw artists from near and far.

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Christmas at Presqu’ile

Whether you’re perusing for holiday gifts, soaking in the arts, or simply in need of a hot drink after a November hike, it’s the perfect season to visit Presqu’ile Provincial Park!

Christmas at Presqu’ile unfolds November 2, 3, 6, 9, and 10, 2019. Presented by the Friends of Presqu’ile Park, this annual event features wares from more than 100 of Ontario’s artisans, artists and crafters.

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“Gathering” at Rondeau

Today’s post comes from Jess Matthews, a Natural Heritage Education Specialist at Rondeau Provincial Park.

A change was needed at the Rondeau Visitor Centre and we wanted it to be big.

So, we worked with three different local Indigenous communities over three years to generate something amazing.

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Sketching Superior: the Group of Seven in Neys Provincial Park

Today’s post is from Maureen Forrester, Neys Provincial Park’s Natural Heritage Education Leader.

The Group of Seven is a famous group of Canadian artists who formed with the mission to paint the truly rugged landscape of Canada; something they did not feel could be achieved with the popular European artistic style of the time.

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Summer concert tour with Zach Oliver

Ontario Parks is pleased to announce a new summer concert series with singer and songwriter Zach Oliver. The 19-show tour will kick off on July 19, this year’s Healthy Parks Healthy People Day celebration, and continue until the end of August.

We invite you to spend time outdoors and take in a great musical performance this summer!

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