Celebrating the 30th anniversary of Breaking the Barrier

Thirty years ago, Atikokan resident and paralympic gold medalist Tom Hainey historically swam across the entire length of Quetico Provincial Park in the Breaking the Barrier Swim.

This swim honoured Tom Hainey’s mother and long-time Quetico employee, Sheila Hainey, who had recently passed away in a car crash.

This year on August 12, a gathering will be held at Quetico’s Dawson Trail Campground to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Tom Hainey’s swim and the dedication of a barrier-free boardwalk to his mother Sheila.

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Regarding rattlesnakes at Killbear Provincial Park

Today’s post comes from Killbear Provincial Park‘s Senior Park Naturalist Isabelle Moy. 

Here at Killbear, it’s no secret that we’re home to Ontario’s only species of venomous snake: the Massasauga Rattlesnake.

From our “Please brake for snakes” signs to daily Snake Talks to naturalists telling visitors that if they see a snake to call the park, you can tell we aren’t trying to hide all the cool work we do to protect this unique species-at-risk.

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Happy World Ranger Day!

Ontario Parks staff tackle a huge array of tasks and challenges.

Our days are diverse. You might find us researching rare species, applying First Aid skills, maintaining safe and healthy water systems, building a boardwalk, or welcoming families to a busy campground.

We’re stewards of our province’s most treasured natural resources. We’re educators, instilling a love of nature in new generations of Ontarians.

Internationally, World Ranger Day celebrates the wonderful work that is protecting our parks, and commemorates park rangers killed or injured in the line of duty in park organizations with high-risk activities.

We’re proud to keep our parks safe and welcoming to visitors, while protecting our amazing natural world.

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A Sandbanks summer: the life of a maintenance student at Ontario Parks

Last summer while other people my age worked in customer service or were out on placement, I chose a job with the beautiful Sandbanks Provincial Park as a maintenance student.

Hi, my name is Hunter, I am a post-secondary student studying photojournalism and am into the second year of my program. This past summer was my second season working at Sandbanks. While I might seem like an odd fit compared to many of my co-workers whose backgrounds or area of study relate to natural sciences or the outdoors, working at Ontario Parks has been one of the greatest summer jobs, full of adventures and lots of learning.

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The joy of answering interesting questions

In our “Behind the Scenes” series, Discovery Program staff across the province share a backstage glimpse of their favourite programs and projects. Today’s post comes from Anna Scuhr, Discovery Program staff member at Lake Superior Provincial Park.

Many joys come along with being an Ontario Parks’ Discovery Guide. We work in some of Ontario’s most beautiful places, with coworkers who share our passions, and a job that is never dull.

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What it’s like to be a water technician at Ontario Parks

Today’s post comes from Mackenzie Garrett, a water technician at Bon Echo Provincial Park.

Picture this: you’re camping at a provincial park when thirst strikes.

As you fill your water jug at the nearest tap, you may wonder, “where did this water come from?”

This is where I come in! This past year, I had the pleasure of working as a water technician at Bon Echo Provincial Park.

In a nutshell, my job was to ensure our campers, day-users, and staff were provided with safe drinking water during their stay at the park.

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Off-hours road tripping with Zuzanna and Alysa

Today’s story comes from Park Staff Besties: Zuzanna and Alysa, summer staff working at Killbear Provincial Park who spent their season visiting over 30 provincial parks! Are you interested in joining us for the 2023 summer season? Applications are now open!

“You work and live in a provincial park? What do you do on your days off?”

“Camp at other provincial parks!”

If you asked staff at Killbear what they thought of the two of us, they would say we are “attached at the hip.” We met last year working as gate attendants in Algonquin Provincial Park and moved to Killbear this season.

Not knowing anyone else at this park, we requested to be roommates at our new staff house and have been going almost everywhere together ever since!

Working and living at Killbear this past summer has been an absolute dream. With the pristine sand beaches, rocky shorelines and picturesque sunsets, we were curious to see what other provincial parks had to offer and decided to make the most of our summer season living up here!

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