The incredible legacy of Maw at Sleeping Giant

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

Sleeping Giant is known for several things, one of them being our awe-inspiring views of the Sleeping Giant.

Another is our park cleaner nicknamed “Maw”, who is retiring from the park this year.

Working at the park for 39 years, Maw has become part of the true fabric of the park. She has left an extraordinary impact on the park, visitors and staff.

Continue reading The incredible legacy of Maw at Sleeping Giant

Love at first snap: caring for Spike at Emily Provincial Park

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 Rosemary Minns from Emily Provincial Park.

Emily Provincial Park is a lovely place. Plenty of docks to fish, beaches to swim, and large campsites. I was extremely excited to work as a Discovery student at Emily. There was one catch to this job…

…I had to learn to take care of a Snapping Turtle. 

Continue reading Love at first snap: caring for Spike at Emily Provincial Park

The ultimate Pinery challenge

In today’s post, Sarah Fencott, a naturalist at Pinery Provincial Park is sharing her journey to completing the ultimate Pinery challenge. The goal? To complete all ten trails at Pinery, including lookouts and extensions. 

Last year, my goal was to hike every trail before the end of the summer. I completed my goal with three days left in my contract.

This year, my goal was to hike all of the trails in one week. This worked out well, as we needed to do an infrastructure survey of the park trails anyway! By hiking three trails per day I had completed my goal within my first week back at work.

With my initial goal so easily achieved, I set my sights on a new challenge that would be harder than anything I had done in the park before: the Tour de Pinery.

Continue reading The ultimate Pinery challenge

Owl-induced whiplash

In today’s post, Alistair MacKenzie, Naturalist Heritage Education Supervisor at Pinery Provincial Park, recounts a dramatic encounter with an Eastern Screech Owl. © Can Stock Photo Inc. / mlorenz.

We desperately needed to confirm breeding evidence for Eastern Screech Owls in our survey squares for the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas back in 2005.

It was our last chance given that the atlas was wrapping up the collection period and I was frustrated since I confidently knew that screech owls did indeed breed in the park, but sadly we just hadn’t managed to be in the right place at the right time to confirm it.

Continue reading Owl-induced whiplash

The great OP retirement tour: Bon Echo

In our second installment of a trip down memory lane, Interpreter David Bree regales us with his experiences at Bon Echo Provincial Park

When people ask me what was my favourite park to work at, I say without hesitation: Bon Echo.

This is as much due to circumstance as the obvious notable physical features and facilities of that park.

I worked at Bon Echo from 1992 to 1999 and went from senior interpreter to leader of the education program in my time there.

Continue reading The great OP retirement tour: Bon Echo

Planes, paddles and portages: a journey of garbage

This is a journey story about garbage.

It wasn’t a quick journey. It took a plane ride, some paddling in a canoe, portaging, more paddling, another plane ride, and a drive on the highway.

This garbage was left in Algonquin Provincial Park’s remote backcountry, something that, unfortunately, happens far too often.

Continue reading Planes, paddles and portages: a journey of garbage

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Group of Seven

In today’s post, Assistant Discovery Program Leader Emma Dennis invites us to reflect on Killarney Provincial Park’s landscapes, past and present.

When I was young, we used to play a game where we would stand or sit in one spot, and use our imaginations to create an idea of what might have happened there years before us.

At that age, our ideas were that perhaps dinosaurs roamed in that same area or the princess kissed the frog in that same place hundreds of years ago (and they lived happily ever after!).

Today, I find myself playing a similar game as I explore Killarney Provincial Park.

However, my record of historical events is slightly more accurate.

Continue reading Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Group of Seven

Quetico’s wilderness voices

Today’s post comes from Jill Legault, an information specialist at Quetico Provincial Park.

Quetico’s oral histories have been locked away on archival cassettes at the John B. Ridley Research Library — until now.

Courtesy of history enthusiasts from the University of Wisconsin Whitewater, they have come out of the vault and into our ears.

Continue reading Quetico’s wilderness voices

Your Will can change the world

Do you remember the moment a park captured your heart?

Was it with the call of a loon, the swish of a paddle, the crackle of a campfire?

For so many of us, parks helped make us who we are. They defined our childhoods. They sculpted our values and our memories. They’re a place we come to be with family, and a place we come to find ourselves.

Continue reading Your Will can change the world

Mattawa River Provincial Park: a heritage river

Today’s post comes from Assistant Discovery Leader Mat St-Jules of Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park.

As your paddle meets the water, look up to the towering cliffs. Pass marshes teeming with activity. Touch trees that set roots hundreds of years ago.

With such incomparable beauty, it’s hard to imagine that Mattawa River Provincial Park is located within a few hours of our province’s largest cities.

Continue reading Mattawa River Provincial Park: a heritage river