5 things I love about being a Discovery Ranger

Today’s post comes from Madeline McNabb, a 2017 Discovery Ranger 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 Ranger.

The Discovery program aims to inspire curiosity in park visitors and encourage 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 Ranger:

Continue reading 5 things I love about being a Discovery Ranger

Students: join our Discovery team this summer

Applications are for our 2023 season are now open! Read on to learn more about spending the summer with us.

Discovery rangers are the storytellers of Ontario Parks.

Roughly 300 Discovery staff work in over 60 parks across the province engaging visitors with stories of Ontario’s natural and cultural heritage.

Discovery rangers help our visitors experience the best of what Ontario Parks has to offer by facilitating experiences through educational and interpretive programming.

Piqued your interest? Learn more about how you can join our Discovery team. Continue reading Students: join our Discovery team this summer

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

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.

Continue reading Are you offering Discovery programs this summer?

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.

Continue reading An ode to Discovery

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.

Continue reading The annual birding battle for the golden binoculars

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.

Continue reading Quetico’s wilderness voices

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.

Continue reading Discovery and trails go together like peanut butter and jelly