staff collage

International Youth Day 2020

Happy International Youth Day!

Students and youth are the lifeblood of our parks — we couldn’t do without them!

Here are just a few stand-out students and youth from around the province:

Maya Aldis, Gate Attendant

staff member

This is Maya’s first year at Ontario Parks.

Maya’s outgoing personality and ability to understand the needs of customers has built an excellent rapport with park visitors and her co-workers. She is always smiling and creates a positive work environment.

Maya is truly a wonderful front line Ontario Parks ambassador while greeting and registering our visitors at Earl Rowe Provincial Park‘s main gate entrance.

Gabby Gagne, Gate Attendant

staff holding toad

Gaby is a first year gate attendant at Esker Lakes Provincial Park.

Her enthusiastic and friendly personality creates a welcoming atmosphere in the gatehouse for staff and park visitors.

Tyler Cloutier, Maintenance

staff cutting branch

Tyler Cloutier is working hard at Ivanhoe Provincial Park, pictured pruning a tree to ensure a stop sign is more visible.

He not only works hard in maintenance, he brightens other people’s day by often leaving sticky notes with funny and encouraging words for gate and other staff.

Diana Weichenthal, Gate Attendant

staff with map

Diana is a student working her first season as a gate attendant at Bon Echo Provincial Park.

She provides excellent customer service answering questions, providing helpful information, and quickly processes visitors so they can get to their campsites.

Ethan Doherty, Maintenance


Even though this is Ethan’s first season working at Bon Echo Provincial Park, he has proven to be a valuable staff member in our maintenance department.

He helps keep the park clean so members of the public can enjoy their visit.

Parnia Moardi, Gate Attendant

staff hanging shirt

Parnia is a friendly, knowledgeable, and hardworking staff member at Sturgeon Bay Provincial Park.

Whether she’s cleaning privies on a maintenance shift or promptly registering visitors while working a gate attendant shift, Parnia always has a smile on her face.

Will Stuart and Quinton Hembruff, Maintenance

staff cleaning trash

Will and Quinton are always working tirelessly to help keep Sturgeon Bay Provincial Park clean.

The recycling centre/garbage depot requires daily sorting to help ensure items are being diverted from our landfills and recycled accordingly.

Veronica Bauer, Gate Attendant

staff on phone

Veronica started with Killbear Provincial Park in the SYR program in 2018.

She has been a valuable member of the Killbear team working in maintenance, gate, and administrative programs.

Her strong customer services skills are being put to good use as she works to relocate displaced campers from sites impacted by the Emerald Ash Borer.

Her gentle demeanor and passion for the park shine through as you hear Veronica work with each customer over the phone to secure a replacement campsite for their holidays.

Veronica is a strong team player. She works hard to ensure correct information is shared to the whole team and keeps everyone in the loop. Veronica shows her empathy when needed and offers her best efforts to everyone.

Emma Mintz, Gate Attendant


Emma has an unwavering positive attitude, a great sense of humour, and an infectious personality that makes her more than suitable for her position.

She is consistent with her gates procedure delivery and knowledgeable about Killbear Provincial Park and the surrounding area.

She has a great rapport with both patrons and fellow staff members.

Chloe Davis, Gate Attendant

staff at window

Chloe has been a welcome addition to the Killbear Provincial Park gate team. She is a kind, patient, and communicative gate attendant.

Chloe has a great attitude and an abundance of humility. She is personable and asks lots of questions.

Chloe takes pride in her work and is excited about the park, a spirit she shares with the customers she serves.

Matthew Janzen-Martin, Maintenance

staff standing next to car

This is Matthew’s third season with Killbear Provincial Park as part of the maintenance team.

A hardworking, reliable, and dependable guy, Matthew makes a solid contribution and puts in a 200% effort in every shift.

This summer has been very hot with extra challenges due to COVID-19, but Matthew never complains and always tackles every day with a positive attitude. He is a good role model for the new staff this season.

It is a pleasure to work with Matthew and we are fortunate to have him as part of Team Killbear!

Maddie Green, Maintenance

staff standing in forest

Maddie has worked at Killbear Provincial Park for two seasons, and has done a terrific job. She has worked with the maintenance team in the spring and fall season.

With all the challenges we’ve had this season, Maddie has stepped up and worked extra shifts to get the park ready for our campers. She never hesitates to tackle any task before her and is a great example for our new staff.

She is committed to doing a top notch job and this is reflected in every thing she does. Keep up the good work, Maddie!

Evan Nugent, Maintenance

staff next to truck

Evan is an integral part of the Killbear Provincial Park maintenance team.

He is hardworking, dependable, and brings a positive attitude each and every day.

Spending many summers at the family cottage, Evan knows the park and Parry Sound area very well. He shares his love of the park with staff and visitors alike.

Evan is willing to tackle any task and sets a great example for our new staff. This has been a unprecedented year with unique and challenging circumstances, but Evan has never complained and always applies himself to the task at hand.

Thank you for doing such a great job!

Lili Paradi, Park Naturalist

staff holding skull

This is Lili’s third year as a naturalist in the Discovery Program at Killbear Provincial Park.

Lili has been essential in our efforts to educate the public about the effects of Emerald Ash Borer at Killbear this year.

Her work and dedication to the park has been an asset not only to the Discovery team, but to other departments during this unusual season. She has also been helping the park office manage campers displaced by EAB affected sites.

Lili picked up our new reservation system and the process for relocating the displaced campers very quickly. When Lili is delivering bad news to a camper by phone, her empathy towards the situation is very evident.

Her hard work, patience, and professionalism has been above and beyond. She has made a very big difference working with both departments over the last few weeks. Great work, Lili!

Mercedes Sharp, Gate Attendant

staff next to tree

This is Mercedes’ second season working with Ontario Parks.

She came to Pancake Bay Provincial Park from French River Provincial Park.

Mercedes strives to go above and beyond for visitors to ensure they have a fun and memorable visit.

We value having Mercedes on our team as she is always enthusiastic and knowledgeable about our provincial parks systems.

Jaden Ryypoo, Maintenance

staff on mower

This is Jaden’s third season working at Pancake Bay Provincial Park.

He is a dedicated and hard working member of our maintenance team.

Last season Jaden participated in the build of Pancake Bay’s first rustic cabin.

We value his hands-on carpentry skills, and how he never hesitates to take on a new challenge while sharing his skills with his coworkers.

Julia Cross, Maintenance

staff on campsite

Julia is a hard working second-year maintenance student at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.

She helps to keep our campground clean and enjoyable for visitors by cleaning park facilities and campsites.

Julia’s warm smile and positive enthusiasm always makes visitors feel welcome and leaves a lasting impression on park staff.

When asked about what she likes best about working at Sleeping Giant, Julia remarked, “Being able to work with an amazing staff team and with park visitors.”

Aidan Messenger, Trail Maintenance

staff on campsite

This is Aidan’s first year as a trails student at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. We are very lucky to have him on our team!

Aidan helps to maintain over 100 km of hiking trails in the park by keeping them clear of deadfall, and ensuring they are safe for visitors that are hiking and biking.

Aidan is a very hard worker, and brings enthusiasm and smiles to work each day.

When asked what the best part of his job is, Aidan shared, “Finding all the hidden gems along the trails in the park like amazing lookouts, unique spots, and fascinating plants.”

Jacob Richard, Gate Attendant

staff writing in book

This is Jacob’s first season as a gate attendant at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.

His amazing customer service skills absolutely shine while checking people into campsites and providing information about the park.

When asked about his favourite part of his job, Jacob said, “The smiles! I love seeing smiles on visitors’ faces.”

Kelsey Atatise, Biologist Assistant

staff with backpack

This is Kelsey’s third year at Quetico Provincial Park.

As a member of the biology team, she spends her time canoeing in the backcountry, where she assists in songbird monitoring, forest fire ecology research, and her favourite: aquatic sampling.

Kelsey is a member of Lac La Croix First Nation. Everyone loves tripping with her because of her local knowledge, portaging skills, and positive attitude in even the rainiest weather.

Rameen Saberi-Yekta, Operations


This is Ray’s fourth year at Quetico Provincial Park, and the operations team would be lost without him.

The man with Quetico’s best beard also has the perfect combination of dependability and flexibility.

He ensures portage crews are picked up on time, the right gear gets on the right backcountry flight, and staff find the help they need.

Neys Provincial Park staff

staff sitting at sculpture
Back row left to right: Braedan Carangi, Maintenance, Mathew Jackulak, Maintenance, Mathew Molinski, Maintenance, Adam Couture, Park Cleaner, Natalia MacFarlane, Gate Attendant. Front row left to right: Hunter Cherneski, Gate Attendant, Jessie Pleasance-Townsend, Discovery, Grace McGarry, Discovery

The staff at Neys has been working nonstop to provide guests with a safe and enjoyable experience. Thank you for all the fantastic work you do!

Rainbow Falls Provincial Park staff

staff standing on bridge
Left to right: Ashley Howe (maintenance), Laura Scerni (maintenance), Shayne Strassburger (maintenance), Chris Speziale (Discovery), Eric Glaister (maintenance)

This group of devoted youth have gone above and beyond during this unusual season to ensure visitors are still able to enjoy everything that Rainbow Falls has to offer.

Working long hours in required PPE, everyone simply puts a smile on and demonstrates true professionalism so our campers can leave with nothing but long-lasting memories.

White Lake Provincial Park Maintenance

staff standing at park sign
Left to right: Alastair Bolten, Brooklyn Bannish, Eddie Narcisse, Makayla McWatch, Shelby Scouten, Davis Mysko, Kenny Skerritt, Lyndra Desmoulin

The maintenance staff have been doing an excellent job keeping the park spotless for visitors to enjoy. Thank you for your hard work and positive attitudes!

Ashley Cramer, Discovery Ranger

staff on beach

Ashley has been a passionate worker in the Discovery Program for three seasons at Wasaga Beach Provincial Park, assisting with resource management and species at risk monitoring.

Her favourite activity is monitoring the endangered Piping Plovers, however she enjoys all of her work outside, including maintaining the park’s pollinator gardens and removing invasive phragmites from the beachfront!

Shachi Desai, Discovery Ranger


Shachi is a knowledgeable and hardworking gate attendant at MacGregor Point Provincial Park, originally beginning her young career with the Discovery Program.

She has now transitioned exceptionally well into her role at the permit office, where she spends her workdays helping campers check in, welcoming visitors from all over the province into the park!

A huge thank you to all the student and youth staff who make our parks such special places to work and visit!