Monarch Butterflies

Today’s post was written by summer student Danielle Bullen from Rondeau Provincial Park.

It’s that time of year again, and across Ontario, we’re starting to see those beautiful orange and black wings.

Monarch Butterflies come all the way from Mexico over a few generations, depending on the amount of milkweed available during their travels, spending summer here in Ontario.

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Lake land playgrounds

Today’s post comes from Emily Wright, a Discovery Leader at Grundy Lake Provincial Park. The park is surrounded by three crystal-clear lakes, and that rich biodiversity inspired Emily to take us on an aquatic tour of Ontario’s lakes and some of the complex life cycles contained within, from hard-working microbe clean-up crews to feisty Largemouth Bass.

Cannonballing into a refreshing lake, casting a line hoping for the “big one,” dipping your paddle into serene waters, or simply enjoying the shifting lights dancing across the water’s surface on a sunny day…

Lakes offer us a plethora of enjoyment, both invigorating as you take a brisk swim, or peaceful and relaxing as you watch a sunset turn the waters from blue-green to wine red.

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Worst of the worst: a naturalist’s list of the most harmful types of litter

Today Yvette Bree, a Discovery Leader at Sandbanks Provincial Park for over 30 years, shares some thoughts about this season. 

2020 will go down as — to put it mildly — a difficult year for many people.

Although affected by the world around me, I choose to acknowledge that I am pretty lucky: I live in a great country, a great province, and have enjoyed a career in a stunningly beautiful park.

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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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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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Keeping dogs on-leash protects our parks’ ecological integrity

Today’s blog comes from Emma Dennis, an assistant Discovery Program leader at Killarney Provincial Park.

I am a lover of the outdoors and an avid hiker, so it’s only natural that I own two dogs that share that same passions. As Killarney residents, we are lucky enough to have Killarney Provincial Park as our backyard.

Whether we are hitting the Granite Ridge Trail on a Sunday morning for a quick hike to start our day, or spending the afternoon adventuring to the top of “The Crack,” we live our best lives when we are hiking the trails.

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Do the skies need our protection?

Stars as seen in midnight’s gaze
Stars shining upon shoreline’s haze
Guiding us, teaching us with stories manifold
About ourselves, stars speak, from birth till old.
Their permanence ties us to days gone by
But to hide their secrets, they still do try
To gaze upon them brings dreams of futures bright
But to see them vanish, is to lose much delight.

~Bruce Waters

At Ontario Parks, we’re committed to the protection and preservation of our province’s biodiversity. The night skies in their natural splendour are an important part of that protection.

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Don’t bring plants from home!

Our parks protect some of the most biodiverse places in Ontario, and this biodiversity includes an enormous number of native plant species.

From giant Tulip Trees in the south to small ancient White Cedars on the Niagara Escarpment, north to carnivorous wildflowers (and the infamous Poison Ivy almost everywhere) — plants are the basis of our forest food chains.

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How to build a bat box

Today’s post comes from Rachelle Law, a Discovery leader at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.

Are you looking for a fun do-it-yourself project to do this summer?

Would you love a solution to the amount of pesky mosquitoes in your backyard?

Are you passionate about creating habitats for wildlife?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, this blog is for you!

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All buzz, little to no bite

Today’s post comes from Jared Sanders, with information provided by Erin Postenka. They are both members of the Resource Management Team at Pinery Provincial Park.

In my youth, the sight of any yellow and black flying insect was terrifying to me.

Any child who has been stung quickly learns that bees and wasps are not to be messed with!

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