Our parks protect some of the most biodiverse places in Ontario, and this biodiversity includes an enormous number of native plant species.
From giant Tulip Trees in the south to small ancient White Cedars on the Niagara Escarpment, north to carnivorous wildflowers (and the infamous Poison Ivy almost everywhere) — plants are the basis of our forest food chains.
Continue reading Don’t bring plants from home!
Biodiversity is a big word for the variety of life on Earth.
Biodiversity is you – and every other living thing on the planet. We see biodiversity every day, but it’s more than bugs and animals and trees. It’s about how everything is connected. If we lose one piece of biodiversity, the rest is affected.
Continue reading Why is biodiversity important?
Today, we join Discovery and Marketing Specialist Dave Sproule for a chat about the ecological and cultural significance of the beaver, which became Canada’s official symbol in 1975.
We all know beavers are industrious. They build dams, canals and sturdy homes called lodges, which are warm in winter. They repair all those dams and collect enough food to survive long northern winters.
We know beavers are well-suited to the Canadian environment. Beavers are amphibious — they’re more at home in the water than on land — with webbed hind feet, nostrils that can close, a third see-through eyelid that protects the eye when they’re underwater, and a big flat tail that acts as a rudder while swimming.
However, the biggest reason to celebrate the beaver is that it built Canada, shaping both its historical and ecological landscape.
Continue reading The beaver: architect of biodiversity
Our “Forever protected” series shares why each and every one belongs in Ontario Parks. In today’s post, Alistair MacKenzie tells us Pinery’s story.
Not until I began working for Ontario Parks did I realize that our great system of protected areas is based upon a model of representation. Each park is different and critical to the success of our protected areas system on the whole.
I am the Supervisor of Natural Heritage Education and Resource Management at Pinery Provincial Park, and I’d like to tell you why Pinery belongs in our provincial system.
Continue reading Forever protected: why Pinery belongs
Welcome to the final installment of our series “IBAs in provincial parks,” brought to you by Ontario IBA Coordinator Amanda Bichel of Bird Studies Canada.
It’s great sharing bird facts, and stories about IBAs and provincial parks, but it’s time to step back and take a look at the bigger picture: biodiversity.
Continue reading Birds and biodiversity
This article was written by Connor Oke, a marketing intern at Ontario Parks, using information provided by Ed Morris, Ontario Parks’ northeast zone ecologist.
When Killarney Provincial Park was established in 1964, park managers faced a problem: what to do with old fields belonging to former homesteads within the park’s boundaries.
To prevent the spread of weedy species, they decided to plant trees, including White Spruce and Red Pine, and regrow the forests.
Continue reading Enhancing biodiversity in Killarney’s tree plantations
Today’s post comes from David LeGros, park naturalist at Algonquin Provincial Park.
Even though our parks are currently closed, I’ve noticed people are continuing to submit observations to iNaturalist.
At first, I was a little worried that people were entering parks during the closure, but on closer inspection, I was pleasantly surprised.
Continue reading Armchair observations and sticking close to home
We all know Ontario’s provincial parks aim to protect our natural landscapes and species.
But did you know that each individual park is protected for its own (often very specific) reasons?
Our parks work together as a network of biodiversity and protection. Whether an immense wilderness or a small urban nature reserve, every park plays a critical role in the protection of our biodiversity, including representative ecosystems, species, and cultural heritage.
Continue reading Forever protected
The eastern shore of Georgian Bay is a pink necklace of islands scattered on a turquoise sea. A freshwater sea, that is.
Georgian Bay is part of Lake Huron, and Huron is one of the Great Lakes, the largest expanse of freshwater in the world.
Eastern Georgian Bay is world class. In 2004, the area was designated as a world biosphere reserve by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Continue reading Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve: biodiversity on the Bay
Our “Forever protected” series shares why each and every one belongs in Ontario Parks. Our great system of protected areas is based upon a model of representation. In today’s post, Biologist Lauren Trute tells us Petawawa Terrace’s story.
For many families in the area, Petawawa Terrace Provincial Park is literally a park in their backyard.
Unlike many provincial parks in Ontario, Petawawa Terrace is not pristine wilderness. Locally known as the “fish hatchery park,” the 215 ha park is located in the heart of the Town of Petawawa.
This little parcel of protected land belongs in the Ontario Parks system because it gives us a glimpse into Ontario’s history, and represents provincially significant ecosystems and species.
Continue reading Forever protected: why Petawawa Terrace belongs