The storm that changed Bon Echo

Today’s post comes from Sarah Wray, a Discovery Leader at Bon Echo Provincial Park.

When a massive derecho storm tore a path through Ontario on May 21, 2022, Bon Echo Provincial Park was directly in its path.

What is a derecho? It’s a long-lived, fast-moving thunderstorm with straight line winds that cause widespread damage. With this type of storm, the worst of it comes within a couple minutes of it hitting.

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What types of wildlife might I see at Ontario Parks?

If you’re new to Ontario Parks, you might be a little nervous about the animals that call our parks home.

Many of us live in cities or suburbs, with little interaction with wildlife, so we don’t know how to react or behave. We want your parks experience to be fun and safe, both for you and for the wildlife that live here.

Today, let’s talk about:

  • the types of critters you might encounter at Ontario Parks
  • some simple tips to prevent negative wildlife interactions

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How to practice proper pumpkin etiquette in parks

Today’s blog comes from Jessica Stillman, school outreach coordinator at Bronte Creek Provincial Park. In the fall, if she isn’t outside with students learning about mushrooms or how animals prepare for winter, she’s inside baking up a pumpkin treat!

Spooky season is upon us!

It’s time for cobwebs, witches, and skeletons to adorn our lawns and porches. Who doesn’t love admiring the creative carving of a jack-o-lantern, its toothy grin lit by a flickering flame?

These hauntingly fun decorations are part of the Halloween spirit, but what happens to them once November 1 rolls around?

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How environmental health professionals keep our water safe

You’re all packed up and ready for another weekend outdoors.

You’ve got your sleeping bags, full cooler, sunscreen, and swimsuit.

Maybe you’ll fill your trailer’s water tank up once you arrive, a water container or two for the campsite, then head to the beach to cool off.

But have you ever stopped to think about how we keep the water safe for you to drink, take a warm shower in, or cool off in at the beach?

Environmental public health professionals do proactive, science-based work behind the scenes to ensure your environment is safe, so you don’t have to worry and can enjoy the moments that really matter.

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5 ways to keep ecological integrity in mind this fall

It’s not hard to see why so many park visitors plan to visit in the fall: the changing colours, migrating birds, and sprouting mushrooms make a visit all too enticing!

Not to mention the cool nights that are perfect for a cozy campfire with no bugs to interrupt!

Almost everyone that visits parks share something in common: they want to experience nature. To do that, it is all our job to maintain the ecological integrity of parks.

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Slithering into fall: hibernation for Ontario’s reptiles

Today’s post was written by seasonal student Heather Van Den Diepstraten from Rondeau Provincial Park.

It’s not just students and birds on the move this fall.

As the cold weather approaches, reptiles are trekking across Rondeau Provincial Park in search of hibernacula (places in which wildlife overwinter). Researchers for Wildlife Preservation Canada are busy tracking the movements of snakes, turtles, and skinks within the park as they find suitable habitat for their hibernation.

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Monitoring birds in northern protected areas

Today’s article comes from our bird recording specialists, Zone Ecologist Ed Morris and Zone Operations Technician Rebecca Rogge. 

Birds are interesting. Most are visually striking, with noteworthy songs to match their brilliant feathers.

They are also very important.

Birds contribute to the health of our environment. They disperse seeds, pollinate plants, and help to control insect populations.

They have direct and indirect effects on human health and well-being as well.

The medical community recognizes the health benefits of spending time with nature and for many people, their connection with the natural world is through birds.

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2022 Piping Plover season recap

In today’s post, Piping Plover Biologist Monica Fromberger shares the hot gossip surrounding this season’s plover population.

We had TWO Piping Plover nests in southeastern Ontario this year!

One at Darlington Provincial Park and the other at Presqu’ile Provincial Park.

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The trouble with balloons

Today’s post comes from David Bree, our Senior Natural Heritage Education Leader at Presqu’ile Provincial Park, and passionate protector of Ontario’s shorebirds.

I don’t know Jason. But I do know he turned six sometime in the last two months and he had a wonderful party with cake, presents and balloons, surrounded by friends and family.

I hope he had a good time, but I wonder if he knows the legacy of his sixth birthday — from my perspective — is unsightly litter, extra work and possibly untimely death.

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Five donor projects protecting Ontario’s southwestern wildlife

With summer in full swing, staff have been busy in parks, both in front of and behind the scenes!

Through our donation program, parks across Ontario’s southwest have received funding for ongoing projects designed to protect some of the most unique wildlife in the province.

Here are five of them:

Continue reading Five donor projects protecting Ontario’s southwestern wildlife