Canadian Geographic’s Ontario Parks Giant Floor Map: bringing parks to the classroom

Calling all teachers…

Ontario is one huge place. Most of us spend the majority of our time in one small section of the province.

But there is a vast expanse waiting to be explored.

We’ve partnered with Canadian Geographic for something big. GIANT, you could say.

We’re excited to unfold the Ontario Parks Giant Floor Map, and explore it with students across the province.

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F.B.I.: the not-so-Secret Service of Ontario Parks

Today’s blog was written by Jessica Stillman, school outreach coordinator at Bronte Creek Provincial Park.

When you visit a provincial park, you will likely interact with staff from several departments.

From the gate staff who greet you to the maintenance crew that keep facilities clean, the park operates smoothly because everyone has a role to play in keeping the machine operational.

But there is one team who works so quietly that many of us don’t realize we are witnessing their efforts every day.

That team is the Ontario Parks F.B.I. unit, otherwise known as fungi, bacteria, and invertebrates.

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Join us for Science Literacy Week!

Today’s post comes from Jessica Stillman, school outreach coordinator at Bronte Creek Provincial Park

What do a Polar Bear, a Prickly Pear Cactus, a Five-lined Skink, and a Bobolink all have in common?

Aside from their snazzy names, they’re plants and animals that require unique environments to survive. Some of these special spaces have been changing and disappearing throughout history.

That’s where Ontario Parks comes in. We protect important landscapes, and conduct research on how we can ensure the species living in parks can thrive.

This year, we’re excited to share the science of parks during Science Literacy Week.

Continue reading Join us for Science Literacy Week!

Beyond the beach: one naturalist’s 35-year-career at Sandbanks

Today’s post comes from Yvette Bree. Yvette has been the park naturalist at Sandbanks Provincial Park for 35 years and retires at the end of August this year.

1986. A year forever etched in my memory.

The year I graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Environmental Studies (B.E.S.) with a Resource Management option.

The year I was married to my high school boyfriend (still going strong).

And the year I got my first job with Ontario Parks.

Continue reading Beyond the beach: one naturalist’s 35-year-career at Sandbanks

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.

We decided upon creating a pollinator garden!

Continue reading The story behind Emily Provincial Park’s pollinator garden

Are you offering Discovery programs this summer?

Yes, we are!

The Ontario Parks Discovery team is hard at work coming up with creative ways to connect visitors with the special stories and values protected in our parks.

If you visit any of the parks offering Discovery programming, you may connect with Discovery staff along a trail, as they rove through the campground, at a drop-in program, in a Visitor Centre, or at a scheduled program.

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An ode to Discovery

In today’s post, Anna Winge-Breen shares her journey from childhood visitor to Algonquin Provincial Park Discovery Ranger. 

We all have at least one childhood experience, so crisp and profound that it has become nearly inseparable from our identity.

A memory that is so deep in your heart, thinking of it brings you right back to a feeling of excitement so exuberant it could be felt only by a child.

For me, this memory is my summers spent in Algonquin.

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An Ontario Parks glossary

Are you new to parks, or maybe a park veteran looking to brush up on your knowledge?

We’ve assembled a handy guide to all the terms you’ll need to know and understand before you visit the park…

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The annual birding battle for the golden binoculars

In today’s post, Learning & Education Specialist Rachelle Law recounts Team Ontario’s push to find as many birds as possible. 

Every year, a team of expert birders from Ontario Parks prepare — binoculars in hand — to compete in a heated competition.

The goal: spot and record as many bird species as they can over one weekend, and win the coveted “golden” binoculars.

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