Considerate Camper: keep our trees healthy

Welcome to our “Considerate Camper” series. These are posts with tips and reminders on how to keep our provincial parks clean and healthy. Already know how it’s done? Please share these posts along for less-experienced campers 🙂

We’re taking a leaf out of the Lorax’s book and speaking for the trees today!

When maintaining our campgrounds, we often notice marks in our trees. Many are from axes and nails, and plenty of trees have names, shapes and initials carved across their bark.

Did you know these holes and gouges risk the tree’s health and may result in its destruction?

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Together, we’re protecting our turtles

We’re doing it!

We’re helping more and more turtles in our provincial parks with the support of our incredible donors.

Over the past several months, we have collected donations for our Turtle Protection Projects across Ontario.

We are thrilled to report that many of these projects are well underway. Our park staff are working hard to protect and monitor nesting turtles and their hatchlings.

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Why social trails are damaging to provincial parks

Park-lovers are natural explorers, and we love our visitors’ passion for adventure.

Sometimes, we see our visitors create their own shortcuts by cutting through sensitive habitat. This is otherwise known as creating a social trail.

Social trails can have a wide range of damaging effects on protected areas, and we’d like to ask our visitors to always stay on designated trails.

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How to leave the park greener than you found it

Today’s post comes from Sheila Wiebe, a marketing and development specialist at Bronte Creek Provincial Park.

I promise to be greener.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m already pretty green. However, after leading an Earth Day park clean up, I decided I need to take it one step further and double up my efforts to further reduce my impact on the environment.

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How to be a responsible mountain biker

Mountain biking is a great way to exercise and spend time surrounded by nature.

It can also have a huge impact on the environment.

We know Ontario Parks trails are a favourite among mountain bikers, so we wanted to share some of our best practices to protect where you bike.

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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!

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How to have a green picnic

Today’s post comes from Sheila Wiebe, a Marketing Specialist at Bronte Creek Provincial Park.

Sometimes you must go back to move forward. Take the family picnic for example

Up until Victorian times, picnics were exclusively enjoyed by the wealthy. After all, picnics were very grand affairs with tables, linens, crystal, chairs, servers — and gourmet fare, of course!

But the Victorian era saw the picnic cross class boundaries. Even the picnics of the early 1900s were more formal than today — a far cry from our blankets and coolers, but the idea was ultimately the same.

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10 low-waste solutions for your next camping trip

Today’s post comes from Jessie Robinson, a Discovery staff member at Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park.

As we become a more environmentally conscious generation, we are paying more attention to how our own lifestyle habits may be affecting the environment.

We strive to reduce our waste, use our reusable and recycle our recyclables, but when it comes to vacation time, we may slip up on our eco-friendly habits. It’s easy to put these values on the back burner during a camping trip where you want everything to be as easy as possible so you can maximize your enjoyment outdoors.

So here are ten simple solutions on how to keep it green in Ontario Parks while still having fun in nature!

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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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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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