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!

Continue reading Just for the gull of it!

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.

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

Continue reading How to plan your trip to Sibbald Point

How to plan a trip to 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:

Continue reading How to plan a trip to Sandbanks

How to beat the crowds at Wasaga Beach Provincial Park

Wasaga Beach Provincial Park is the busiest provincial park in the province, receiving over 1.5 million visitors every year!

Home to the world’s longest freshwater beach, Wasaga boasts 14 km of pristine sand, which makes it a hot spot for summer activity.

This also means that our park can get extremely busy, and often reaches capacity on hot summer days. We are also currently experiencing high water levels, limiting our beachfront across all 14 km.

Our park is unique within the provincial park system as it is the only provincial park that is fully integrated within a town. This can be confusing for our visitors.

Continue reading How to beat the crowds at Wasaga Beach Provincial Park

From tumblers to leaf blowers: we bet you didn’t know how much work it takes to make our beaches beautiful

Today’s blog was written by Jessica Stillman, school outreach coordinator at Bronte Creek Provincial Park.

Our beautiful beaches are one of the many reasons people choose to visit parks.

But you didn’t think they got that pretty on their own, did you?

Here’s a glimpse into some of the behind-the-scenes work you probably didn’t know was going on across the province…

Continue reading From tumblers to leaf blowers: we bet you didn’t know how much work it takes to make our beaches beautiful

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…

Continue reading A tale of star cross’d plovers

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.

Continue reading The Piping Plover power couple of Darlington

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.

Continue reading Driftwood: shaping shorelines and completing communities