Why driftwood matters

Today’s post comes from Laura Myers, Senior Park Interpreter of Neys Provincial Park.

Driftwood – it makes a great bench to watch the sunset, a balancing beam to play on, or that perfect element to your photograph.

There’s something about driftwood that gives beaches that rugged beauty factor. Walking on a beach, listening to the waves and the birds, and looking at the different pieces of driftwood can be wondrous and relaxing.

Has a piece of driftwood ever caught your eye and made you wonder where it originally came from? How it got that far up the beach? The size of the wave that put it there? What species of tree or how old it is?

Each piece of driftwood has its own journey and its own story. But its story isn’t over when it washes up on the beach.

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A tale of star cross’d plovers

In today’s post, Marina Opitz, Discovery leader at Wasaga Beach Provincial Park, regales us with shorebird drama of Shakespearean proportions. Thanks to Neal Mutiger for photographing our leading avian actors.

First, let us set the scene for our dramatic tale.

Picture an empty beach, orange sunrise gleaming across the waves, when two solitary plovers lock eyes from across the wrack line. It is love at first sight.

However, if we have learned anything from the immortal Bard, it is that not all romantic tales have a happy ending. And so we start on our path to eventual heartbreak…

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The Piping Plover power couple of Darlington

Today’s blog comes from Piping Plover Biologist Monica Fromberger from Ontario Parks’ southeast zone. 

Every year, Darlington Provincial Park runs a Piping Plover conservation program to help these special endangered shorebirds.

This year, the park’s plover lovers have done it again!

Lovebirds Blue and Miss Howard have successfully hatched, fledged, and raised all four of their chicks to migrate for the second year in a row.

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Driftwood: shaping shorelines and completing communities

For a while, park staff have been wondering: why do some of our guests who come to visit natural environments feel compelled to leave their mark on that beach, waterfall, or lookout after they’ve left?

At MacGregor Point Provincial Park, we’ve noticed some changes being made to our shorelines by well-meaning sun-seekers who visit our beach for a short time, but leave behind structures made of driftwood.

Staff in our park and others have disassembled several driftwood forts upon discovering them on our beaches, which can be a dangerous task.

Let’s talk about why we’d prefer our visitors to leave driftwood where it lies, and some fun things you can do at the beach instead of building forts.

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Just for the gull of it!

In today’s post, Awenda’s Chief Park Naturalist Tim Tully defends what some may think is the undefendable: the gull. 

If there was ever an animal that gets a raw deal, it’s the gull.

It’s time to set the record straight and come to the defense of this unfairly maligned avian “underbird.”

For starters, we can’t even get the name right. I hate to tell you, folks, but there is no such thing as a seagull!

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How to plan a day trip to North Beach

North Beach Provincial Park is a beautiful day use park offering long sandy beaches along Lake Ontario and North Bay — 2,000 meters of sand beach to be specific!

Located in Prince Edward County, a short drive from its more famous neighbour, Sandbanks, it’s a popular spot for beach-goers and often hits capacity throughout the summer.

This year, you need to book your day use permit in advance to guarantee entry.

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Our free PFD Lending Program

While swimming, boating and other water activities are a centrepiece of many Ontario Parks adventures, there are also risks associated with these activities.

We want our visitors to stay safe when they hit the waves.

And that starts with a PFD (personal flotation device)!

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How to plan your trip to Sibbald Point

Located on Lake Simcoe, Sibbald Point Provincial Park is a great spot for day-use. The park has a sandy beach and shallow water perfect for kids.

But during the hot summer months, the park can get extremely busy. Many weekends, Sibbald Point hits capacity and can’t welcome any more visitors until later in the day.

This year, you need to book your day use permit in advance to guarantee entry.

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How to beat the crowds at Sandbanks

Sandbanks Provincial Park is one of the busiest parks in the province, welcoming over 800,000 visitors in 2020!

Sandbanks full parking lot signsMany summer days — especially weekends — Sandbanks hits capacity and can’t welcome any more visitors. This year, you need to book your day use permit in advance to guarantee entry.

We really hate to turn away visitors, especially knowing many have driven several hours to get here.

Planning a trip to Sandbanks? Check out our top tips for a fun and frustration-free visit:

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How to plan your day trip to Port Burwell

Port Burwell Provincial Park is a favourite spot for families, dog-lovers, and beach-goers.

With 2.5 km of sandy beach, a dog friendly beach and exercise area, and plenty of recreation facilities, this park has become a popular weekend destination.

Unfortunately, Port Burwell’s increasing popularity has meant that our park can get extremely busy, and often reaches capacity on hot summer days.

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