How to use your senses to experience nature at home

Today’s post comes from Rachel Gagnon, Ontario Parks’ Healthy Parks Healthy People Coordinator.

Did you know that nature can touch all our senses: sound, smell, sight, touch, and taste?

During these times when we can’t visit our favourite natural spaces, bringing pieces of nature home can help us experience some of its benefits.

So few things in the world stimulate our minds and bodies like nature does. It can soothe us, alleviate our stress, and put us in a better mood.

Here are some ways you can incorporate nature into your daily life through connecting to your five senses:

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Armchair observations and sticking close to home

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.

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A Colorado snake fight made my life easier

Today’s post comes from Alistair MacKenzie, Discovery Supervisor at Pinery Provincial Park.

Have you ever thrown a tangle of rope to the ground in a frustrated fit?

I used to, but was lucky enough to be exposed to the sport of rock climbing. In short order, I learned a few essential knots that have changed my life.

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The joy of answering interesting questions

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 Anna Scuhr, Discovery Program staff member at Lake Superior Provincial Park.

Many joys come along with being an Ontario Parks’ Discovery Guide. We work in some of Ontario’s most beautiful places, with coworkers who share our passions, and a job that is never dull.

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Celebrating 75 Years at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park

Today’s post comes from Will Oades, with the Discovery Program staff at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park

As we near the end of Sleeping Giant Provincial Park’s 75th anniversary, it’s hard not to look back on all of the rich natural and cultural history that has shaped the park into the place we know and love today.

Full of world-class hiking, biking and ski trails, Sleeping Giant offers a recreational haven for thrill seekers and amateur adventurers alike.

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Dressing up like it’s 1900!

Today’s post comes from Nicole Bucik, a Senior Park Interpreter at Bronte Creek Provincial Park.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in the Victorian era?

When walking around Spruce Lane Farm at Bronte Creek Provincial Park, you might think to yourself: have I stepped back in time?

Seeing park staff in suits and gowns tending to farm animals might seem odd, but it’s a seasonal feature here at Bronte Creek.

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Working at Pancake Bay Provincial Park

Today’s post comes from Kathleen Boston, a Discovery Leader at Pancake Bay Provincial Park. 

Three years ago, I applied to spend my summer working at Pancake Bay Provincial Park. It was one of the best decisions I ever made!

Thankfully I was chosen to work as a gate attendant for my first year. In my second year I moved to the maintenance department, and now, in my third year, I am part of the Discovery Program team.

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The Ontario Parks Discovery Program: 75 years in the making

In 1944, Algonquin Provincial Park decided to try something new.

They hired Professor J.R. Dymond, Director of the Royal Ontario Museum of Zoology, to deliver guided hikes for park visitors. Those first interpretive programs were a success and what would become the Ontario Parks Discovery Program was born.

Seventy-five years later, roughly 300 Discovery staff in over 70 parks continue to engage visitors with stories of Ontario’s natural and cultural heritage and encourage them to explore further.

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Behind the scenes: from curious camper to Discovery staff at Lake Superior Provincial Park

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 Jordan Welch and Kelly Taylor, Discovery Program staff at Lake Superior Provincial Park

We have all been asked the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?”

We tend to make the decision based on the experiences we have. For some, it’s school; for others, it’s travel. Perhaps even friends and family help in deciding a career path. We went outside.

Continue reading Behind the scenes: from curious camper to Discovery staff at Lake Superior Provincial Park