In today’s blog, Helen McConnell, a marketing and communications specialist at Algonquin Provincial Park, explains what “SNOW” is and how SNOW data is used to protect our parks and the species that live here.
On a chilly Monday in March, I found myself snowshoeing with our park biologist, loudly crunching through the snow as we followed a “snow course” through through the hardwood forest.
Continue reading There’s no research like snow research
Today’s post comes from Natural Heritage Education Leader David Bree at Presqu’ile Provincial Park.
With the onset of winter, we often think of nature going into a slumber, but while she slows down, there is still lots going on outside. Winter provides a better opportunity to learn what the animals of our fields and forests are up to than do the warmer seasons.
I am, of course, talking about tracking, tracking in the snow.
Continue reading How to be a winter wildlife detective
Today’s post was written by Connor Oke, a marketing intern at Ontario Parks, using information provided by Mark Read, a senior Discovery ranger at Murphys Point Provincial Park.
If Canada is known for one thing, it’s for our long, cold winters.
Wild animals rely on evolution and natural adaptations to survive until spring. The strategies they’ve developed are varied and, simply, incredible.
Here are six species, sporting six different ways Ontario Parks’ wildlife makes it through the winter:
Continue reading How 6 species at Ontario Parks survive the winter
Today’s post comes from Gabriel Argenti, a Discovery Student at Rondeau Provincial Park.
As winter approaches, most wildlife undergoes seasonal changes or new habits.
Some animals prepare for the cold by storing food away, going into hibernation, eating to gain weight, growing a thicker coat. Others migrate south to warmer climates to wait out the season.
Let’s take a look at one animal in particular, the Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias striatus), and see how they make it through the coldest time of the year.
Continue reading How do chipmunks prepare for and live through winter?
Did you know snowflakes come in all shapes and sizes?
Snowflake identification is a fun and easy way to get kids outdoors in the winter, and spark an interest in science.
Why not turn your next winter adventure into a lesson on snowflake identification?
Continue reading How to identify snowflakes
`In today’s post, Kettle Lakes Provincial Park‘s senior park naturalist Sarah Wiebe shows us that loons and campers aren’t so different!
Just like many families, Common Loons choose Kettle Lakes as the place to stay with their family in the summer.
You could say that loon families love parks as much as we do!
Like many visitors, I grew up visiting parks, spending every summer of my childhood exploring shorelines and lakes.
I would spend hours making sandcastles at Arrowhead Provincial Park, splashing in the water at Balsam Lake Provincial Park, going fishing in The Massasauga Provincial Park, and paddling through Algonquin Provincial Park.
I can easily say that I love parks.
As I was watching a family of loons return to the lake near our staff house at Kettle Lakes this spring, it got me thinking about how loons like to spend their summers in Ontario Parks, too!
By observing the loons, I’ve noticed that loons love parks as much we do.
Continue reading Loons are like campers — they love their park!
Provincial parks are home to some of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes in Ontario.
They protect unique plant and wildlife species, some of which cannot be found anywhere else in the province!
Thanks to the proceeds from our 2021 online holiday store, our staff are hard at work on ecological integrity projects that help these species, like finding Pitch Pine at Charleston Lake Provincial Park.
Continue reading Your purchase helps parks: plotting Charleston Lake’s Pitch Pines
Today’s post comes from Sheila Wiebe, a marketing and development specialist at Bronte Creek Provincial Park.
Provincial parks are all about protection.
We protect significant natural ecosystems and habitats while offering many outstanding and sustainable recreational opportunities for the people of Ontario.
This isn’t always an easy task. Invasive species have challenged our ecosystem management, knowledge, and skills. Keeping an area safe for park visitors while allowing natural processes to happen can be challenging.
This is especially true for managing our forests. We are often asked by our visitors: why do you leave fallen, dead trees in the forest?
Continue reading Why do we leave dead trees in the forest?
As winter weather rolls in, black bears are bedding down for hibernation.
Rick Stronks, the chief naturalist at Algonquin Provincial Park, shares some interesting facts about these seasonal deep sleepers:
Continue reading 7 facts about black bears
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.
Continue reading The joy of answering interesting questions