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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Quetico’s wilderness voices

Today’s post comes from Jill Legault, an information specialist at Quetico Provincial Park.

Quetico’s oral histories have been locked away on archival cassettes at the John B. Ridley Research Library — until now.

Courtesy of history enthusiasts from the University of Wisconsin Whitewater, they have come out of the vault and into our ears.

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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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Discovery and trails go together like peanut butter and jelly

In our “Behind the Scenes” series, Discovery Program staff across the province share a “backstage” glimpse of their favourite programs and projects. Today’s post comes from David Bree, Discovery Program Lead at Presqu’ile Provincial Park.

Trails and parks go together like (fill in your favourite pairing here: “like peas and carrots,” as Forrest Gump would say). Trails are arguably the most used recreational facility in our park system.

But trails don’t just happen; first a concept must be born.

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“What the heck is that?!”: when to #AskanOPNaturalist

Today’s post comes from David LeGros, a park naturalist with the Ontario Parks Discovery Program.

“I’ve never seen one of those” is among my favorite sentences.

There’s a scary thing that happens the longer you look into nature. The more you find, the more you find out that you don’t know that much. It can be an intimidating feeling, but also, an exciting feeling.

Your mind is about to be blown.

Repeatedly.

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My journey to becoming a Discovery Guide at Rainbow Falls

In our “Behind the Scenes” series, Discovery Program staff across the province share a “backstage” glimpse of their favourite programs and projects. Today’s post comes from Caroline Freitag, a Discovery Guide at Rainbow Falls Provincial Park.

When I was a very young child, I was fascinated by leaves and rocks. On walks around my neighbourhood I would collect the biggest, coolest leaf I could find and bring it home to show whichever family member hadn’t been with me when I’d found it.

My preferred method of showing affection to people was to give them a “very cool rock”- usually a piece of gravel I’d found on the side of the road. My one neighbour loves to tell the story of the shy girl who left her piles of pebbles by the garden gate!

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