Loons are like campers — they love their park!

`In today’s post, Kettle Lakes Provincial Park‘s senior park naturalist Sarah Wiebe shows us that loons and campers aren’t so different!

Just like many families, Common Loons choose Kettle Lakes as the place to stay with their family in the summer.

You could say that loon families love parks as much as we do!

Like many visitors, I grew up visiting parks, spending every summer of my childhood exploring shorelines and lakes.

I would spend hours making sandcastles at Arrowhead Provincial Park, splashing in the water at Balsam Lake Provincial Park, going fishing in The Massasauga Provincial Park, and paddling through Algonquin Provincial Park.

I can easily say that I love parks.

As I was watching a family of loons return to the lake near our staff house at Kettle Lakes this spring, it got me thinking about how loons like to spend their summers in Ontario Parks, too!

By observing the loons, I’ve noticed that loons love parks as much we do.

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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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Stars over Killarney 2022 recap: an Ontario Parks event 4.5 billion years in the making

Stars over Killarney is an annual festival celebrating the connection between the beauty of Killarney Provincial Park with an element of astronomical knowledge.

This year’s theme, “From the Earth to the moon, Mars, and beyond!” celebrated the connection between the wondrous geology of Killarney and the study of the moon, Mars, and asteroids.

Take a look at all the fun that took place this year:

Continue reading Stars over Killarney 2022 recap: an Ontario Parks event 4.5 billion years in the making

Bats: The mammal, the myth, the legend

Today’s post comes from Ashley Hanas, a Bat Technician with the Friends of Pinery Park.

Bats are the only true flying mammal.

There are currently over 1,400 species and bats encompass 20% of the mammalian species on earth (meaning 1 in 5 mammals are bats!).

Bats are essential to the health of our environment, providing indispensable ecosystem and economic services in the form of prolific insect pest control, pollination of plants, and dispersal of seeds.

Their droppings, or guano, are rich in phosphorus and nitrogen, making it a highly effective fertilizer.

Despite the numerous benefits bats provide us, their reputations are marred by negative misconceptions.

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It’s October – what are the bears up to?

It’s getting a bit cold, there’s not much food anymore, and Black Bears are thinking seriously about having a long nap.

Black bears in Ontario Parks start heading to the den by mid-October.

We know you have questions about Black Bears’ big sleeps, so let’s go through for FABQs (frequently asked bear questions):

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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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Fascinating fall fungi at Frontenac

`From yeast fungi (responsible for leavening bread) to mold (we’ve all forgotten about food for just a little too long), the world of fungi is a large and fascinating one.

But the role fungi play in our natural environment is perhaps one of the most important roles of all.

Have you ever wondered how old tree stumps break down and are slowly reclaimed by the forest floor? Or how plants are able to obtain water and nutrients essential for their survival?

The answer is fungi.

Fungi are the powerhouses of forest ecosystems. They are the best wood decomposers found in the natural environment and form relationships with nearly 90% of the world’s land plants

At Frontenac Provincial Park, over 700 species of fungi have been identified in our forests.

Let’s find out some interesting facts about a handful of them:

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For the pollinators! Two new pollinator gardens you can visit and learn about this year

Gardens are not something you typically think of when it comes to Ontario Parks, considering we preserve many of Ontario’s natural landscapes. But there’s one type of garden we’re happy to build in our parks: pollinator gardens!

This summer, two southeastern parks worked hard to build and establish new pollinator gardens. Why? Because planting native plants supports biodiversity and helps our pollinators, some of which have populations in dramatic decline.

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Let out your inner explorer, artist, and space traveler with a Discovery Kit

Have you ever wanted to explore the great outdoors, create a masterpiece, or go to space?

You’re in luck!

Our FREE Discovery Kit rental program is designed to help you do all those things while visiting a park.

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Turtles: the ultimate survivors

In today’s post, Discovery Leader Olivia Bennett discusses turtles’ impact on Grundy Lake Provincial Park — and vice versa!

When I first started working at Grundy Lake, I was talking turtles with our park superintendent when someone asked, “Why do you care so much about turtles here?”

The answer is simple: while the park boasts a healthy turtle population and quality habitat, other areas are not so lucky.

This is only the beginning of why we should all care about turtles.

Continue reading Turtles: the ultimate survivors