5 things I love about being a Discovery Guide

Today’s post comes from Madeline McNabb, a 2017 Discovery Guide at White Lake Provincial Park

We all dream of turning our passion into a job.

My chance came this past summer when I worked at White Lake Provincial Park as a Discovery Guide.

The Discovery Program is a new program focusing on inspiring curiosity in park visitors and encouraging exploration of our natural environment. I made so many amazing memories this past summer. There are too many wonderful things I want to share!

After much deliberation, I have narrowed it down to five top reasons why I loved being a Discovery Guide:

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Kakabeka Falls inspires student art

Big thanks to the students of Valley Central Public School, especially Sara Miller (grade 7) and Trenten Scott (grade 8), for writing this post about their recent trip to Kakabeka Falls.

In September, students from the Valley Central School Learning Academies visited Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park for some outdoor learning.

The main intention of the trip was to plant trees in case the Emerald Ash Borer spreads into their forests. However the students also took the time to sketch landscapes, rock formations, trees, and — of course — the beautiful falls themselves.

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Maintaining the Missinaibi

The Missinaibi River is one of the longest and most famous canoe routes in the Hudson Bay watershed – 500 km of whitewater river, from the Arctic watershed divide down to James Bay.

This summer, our Northeastern Resource Stewardship Crew traveled 185 km of that river working to maintain Missinaibi Provincial Park‘s backcountry.

Check out this video of their travels:

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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.

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.

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Lessons in nature at Kakabeka Falls

Big thanks to the students of Valley Central Public School, especially Olivia Davis (grade 7) and Paige Arnold (grade 8), for writing this post about their recent trip to Kakabeka Falls.

On September 19 students from Valley Central Public School headed to Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

The students were excited to visit the park and take part in some outdoor learning activities.

Valley Central Grade 7 and 8 students are part of a new and exciting learning opportunity called Learning Academies.  Learning Academies are designed to engage students in community connected experiential learning opportunities. The program is focused on community sustainability, including exploring our natural and built environment, and fine arts.

As students, we are engaged in documenting our learning through e-portfolios, blogs, and social media as we learn to become responsible digital citizens and 21st century learners.

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Happy 60th, Kakabeka Falls!

Today’s post comes from Steven Kearney, a park warden at Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park.

Thirty kilometres west of Thunder Bay rises the impressive natural water formation known as Kakabeka Falls.

At 40 m high, it has affectionately been nicknamed the “Niagara of the North” because of its size and fame. The park also carries an extensive cultural history and displays great geological significance. Kakabeka Falls is a popular tourist destination along the Trans-Canada Highway, whether as a camping getaway, a quick day trip from Thunder Bay, or a rest stop along a greater journey.

This year, Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park celebrates its 60th anniversary and hosts a variety of events throughout the operating season.

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How Pancake Bay got its name

Today’s post comes from — you guessed it — Pancake Bay Provincial Park.

Where did the name Pancake Bay come from? The answer changes depending on who you ask.

Ask a local and they’ll tell you one story. Ask a Pancake Bay staff member and they’ll tell you another. Ask a child and they will tell you it’s because the beach is flat like a pancake 😉

But no matter whom you ask, the name is closely tied to the voyageurs.

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Celebrating the summer solstice at Killbear

Aanii kinaweya! Hello everyone!

Christine King n’dizhinikaaz, Wasauksing n’doonjibaa. My name is Christine King and I am from Wasauksing First Nation. I am a park naturalist at Killbear and have already learned so much in my first month in being at the park.

What a beautiful day we had here at Killbear Provincial Park for National Aboriginal Day (or as it is now known: National Indigenous Peoples Day) on June 21, 2017!

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Trees for tomorrow at Sandbanks

Nothing says Canada like a maple leaf. That’s why Sandbanks Provincial Park planted 150 Sugar Maples this spring.

And those maples are part of a bigger plan. Over the past ten years, this Picton-area park has planted a whopping 100,000 trees! This year alone, Sandbanks “grew” by 36,000 trees.

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Greetings, Boozhoo, Aaniin, Sekoh, Wachay, Ullakut!

National Aboriginal Day invites us to learn more about Indigenous history, perspectives and culture, and help us build stronger relationships rooted in mutual respect and understanding.

We’re taking the opportunity to spotlight some of the wonderful partnerships and events shared with us by Indigenous leaders and communities across Ontario:

Continue reading Greetings, Boozhoo, Aaniin, Sekoh, Wachay, Ullakut!