Your purchase helps parks: plotting Charleston Lake’s Pitch Pines

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.

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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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Where can a paddle take you?

In today’s post, Rondeau Provincial Park‘s Chief Park Naturalist Jess Matthews takes us back in time…

There may be a time when you used your paddle to get through white caps. At other times, it leisurely pulled you over still wetlands.

They are a lifeline. Solid, reliable; something that won’t break down on whatever journey you may be on.

But what if we told you that a paddle can also take you through time to the very beginning of the provincial park system? A time when the only two superintendents in Ontario Parks were 600 km away from each other, and correspondence was mainly though letters.

Just two paddles are the tangible pieces of history that connects Algonquin Provincial Park and Rondeau Provincial Park through a story of beginnings, friendships, and marriage.

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Your purchase helps parks: Preserving Darlington’s habitat

Did you buy something from our online holiday store last year? In today’s post, Monica Fromberger, an ecologist at Darlington Provincial Park, talks about some of the vital protection work your purchase helped fund!

Darlington is hard at work this fall with some ecological integrity projects to preserve habitats for different species throughout the park.

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Uncovering the “birdiest” trail at Pinery

Today’s post comes from Habitat Stewardship Technician Justin Johnson from Pinery Provincial Park. Justin has a M.Sc. in biology with a focus on bird acoustics. 

Birders are an interesting breed of people. Sometimes everything they do seems to subvert the norms of society.

Sleeping in? Rather not. Too much coffee? No such thing. $4500 binoculars? Yeah, I’ve seen it.

Birders’ bread and butter is local natural spaces and their trails. They can be very particular about which trails they walk. Seasoned birders often only use trails they perceive as “birdy,” neglecting those off their sacred path.

But how do we really know which trails are the “birdiest?”

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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!

“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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Sleeping Giant’s new and improved Nanabosho Lookout Trail

Today’s post is from Christian Carl, Park Superintendent at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.

I first noticed the prominent buttress on the northeast face of the Sleeping Giant’s chest while hiking the Kabeyun Trail in the spring of 2003.

More specifically, as I enjoyed a break on the sunny, south-facing shoreline of Sawyer Bay, my attention was drawn to a natural lookout on top of an arête (the point where two cliff faces meet).

I immediately imagined the stunning landscapes that would be revealed to hikers who ventured to this natural lookout on the chest of the towering Giant and contemplated how I might make my way up there to take a look for myself.

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5 reasons to visit Pancake Bay Provincial Park

Never visited Lake Superior?

Let us introduce you to this stunning body of water with a park that showcases how great this lake is: Pancake Bay Provincial Park!

If you’re travelling from the east or south, Pancake Bay is the first provincial park with camping you’ll come across on Superior.

Located less than an hour north of Sault Ste. Marie, this park is perfect to start or cap off your Lake Superior adventures.

Check out these five reasons to visit Pancake Bay Provincial Park:

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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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For the pollinators! Two new pollinator gardens you can visit and learn about this year

Gardens are not something you typically think of when it comes to Ontario Parks, considering we preserve many of Ontario’s natural landscapes. But there’s one type of garden we’re happy to build in our parks: pollinator gardens!

This summer, two southeastern parks worked hard to build and establish new pollinator gardens. Why? Because planting native plants supports biodiversity and helps our pollinators, some of which have populations in dramatic decline.

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