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.

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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.

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8 questions with an Ontario Parks ecologist

Alison Lake or “Lakie” is an ecologist in our northeast zone, and has earned a reputation as a passionate promoter of ecological integrity.

She has an infectious love of the natural world and is rarely seen without her “bins” (binoculars) around her neck.

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The story behind Emily Provincial Park’s pollinator garden

Today’s post comes from Alexander Renaud, a Discovery Program Lead at Emily Provincial Park.

In the summer of 2018, our Discovery staff at Emily Provincial Park wanted to do something BIG to help the park.

Previous years have seen the instillation of turtle nest protection boxes, the collection of species data through a BioBlitz, and the design and creation of a new trail system.

Last summer, we decided upon creating a pollinator garden!

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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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The great OP retirement tour: Charleston Lake

Buckle up for the ride of a lifetime! Interpreter David Bree is about to take us on a journey down memory lane.

After 32 years, the end is near.

Hi, my name is David Bree and I have worked at Ontario Parks as an interpreter (also known as a park naturalist) for over half my life.

As I go through my final year as an Ontario Parks employee, I have embarked on a retirement nostalgia tour of the parks I worked at.

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How to plan your trip to Sibbald Point

Located on Lake Simcoe, Sibbald Point Provincial Park is a great spot for day-use. The park has a sandy beach and shallow water perfect for kids.

But during the hot summer months, the park can get extremely busy.

At peak times, visitors might wait over two hours to make it inside the gate. Many weekends, Sibbald Point hits capacity and can’t welcome any more visitors until later in the day.

We really hate to turn away visitors, especially knowing many have driven several hours to get here.

Planning a trip to Sibbald Point? Check out our top tips for a fun and frustration-free visit:

  1. How busy is the park right now?
  2. When is the best/worst time to visit?
  3. How long is the wait on busy days, like summer weekends?
  4. I made a camping reservation? Do I wait in the same line?
  5. The park’s already full / the line’s too long…now what?
  6. Where can I get lunch?
  7. What are the park hours?
  8. How much does it cost to get in?
  9. Can I stay overnight?
  10. Where can I park?
  11. What kind of accessibility does the park provide?
  12. Can I rent a canoe or other watercraft?
  13. Can I rent a picnic shelter?
  14. Can I bring my dog?
  15. What should / shouldn’t I pack?
  16. Is your beach safe to swim in?
  17. Does Sibbald Point have ticks or poison ivy?
  18. What else should I know?

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What it’s like to be a washroom cleaner at Ontario Parks

In today’s post, our Algonquin Zone Marketing Specialist Andrea Coulter shares how a summer of cleaning washrooms turned her into a public washroom etiquette crusader.

After more than 15 years with Ontario Parks, I still remember my first position most vividly (you never forget cleaning poop off the beach…). I was eighteen years old, and spent the summer working maintenance with Ontario Parks.

After that season of wiping footprints off toilet seats, cleaning clumps of hair from washroom sinks, and scraping waste off the floor, there are some things I started doing (and some things I would never do again):

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