5 things I love about being a Discovery Guide

Today’s post comes from Madeline McNabb, a 2017 Discovery Guide at White Lake Provincial Park

We all dream of turning our passion into a job.

My chance came this past summer when I worked at White Lake Provincial Park as a Discovery Guide.

The Discovery Program is a new program focusing on inspiring curiosity in park visitors and encouraging exploration of our natural environment. I made so many amazing memories this past summer. There are too many wonderful things I want to share!

After much deliberation, I have narrowed it down to five top reasons why I loved being a Discovery Guide:

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Students for hire at Ontario Parks!

“Working up north was the most empowering experience of my life.”

19-year-old Katie Baillie-David left the comforts of home last June to drive 10 hours north to the wilds of Nagagamisis Provincial Park, northwest of Timmins. Visitors come from all over the US and Canada to enjoy the remoteness of the park – the fishing, swimming, northern lights and the quiet, unspoiled landscape – and so did Katie.

What she came away with was a life-changing experience.

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Winter track surveys

In today’s post, Ecologist Corina Brdar shares the “best part of [her] job.”

I’m an ecologist for Ontario Parks. When people ask me what exactly it is that I do, I have a hard time answering – my job is so diverse and interesting.

So I like to give the example of my favourite job duty: doing winter track surveys for deer.

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9 future jobs of Ontario Parks

Today’s post comes from Ontario Parks 125th Anniversary Coordinator Laura Myers.

Over the course of 2018, Ontario Parks’ 125th Anniversary has inspired us to reflect on our past and to imagine our future. We thought it would be fun to think about what Ontario Parks jobs may be required as we move forward into our next 125 years!

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What goes into closing a park for the winter?

While 26 provincial parks remain open for the winter, the rest hibernate until spring.

But closing a park isn’t as simple as just locking the gates. Our staff put a lot of elbow grease into prepping each park for the winter.

Here are just a few of the tasks we do each fall:

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Congratulations to our 2018 Ontario Parks Partners Bursary recipients!

The summer student workforce is the life-blood of the Ontario Parks summer operating season. Our provincial parks simply could not operate without our student workers.

Today, Minister Rod Phillips, local MPPs, park staff, corporate partners and — of course — our wonderful students gathered in Peterborough to award the 2018 Ontario Parks Partners Bursaries.

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Learn to Camp, 2018

We’ve been celebrating the 125th anniversary of Ontario Parks all year, but did you know one of our signature programs celebrated a smaller anniversary and success?

Learn to Camp is only eight years old, but this season was a big one, marking our 20,000th milestone. That’s right: since the program began, we’ve introduced more than 20,000 people to the joys of camping!

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The people I’ve met in parks…

Stroll the halls at our main office, and you’ll find many a former naturalist, ops tech and superintendent. So many of our long-time team members started their careers in a favourite provincial park. In today’s post, Eva Paleczny — now working centrally as a Learning & Education Specialist — recounts her time working in a park. 

As a park naturalist at Lake Superior Provincial Park, I met so many people, some just briefly and others year after year.

And the diverse array of visitors I’ve met while working with Ontario Parks has been one of the best parts of my job!

Continue reading The people I’ve met in parks…