“Fall”ing into a new role at Sandbanks

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 Carlin Thompson, Assistant Discovery Leader at Sandbanks Provincial Park.

When summer transitions into fall at Sandbanks Provincial Park, many campgrounds are closed for the season. Park Store and Discovery Centre hours are reduced, and snow fencing is placed along our popular beaches in preparation for whipping winter winds.

This year, as camping visitation waned and summer staff headed back to school, I was preparing to tackle a new challenge for the Discovery Program.

After decades of educating and entertaining campers with summer programs, Sandbanks’ Discovery Program is thrilled to refocus our efforts this fall to become a more active community partner with our local schools.

Continue reading “Fall”ing into a new role at Sandbanks

9 tips for eco friendly Halloween decor

Many of our in-park Halloween events feature campsite decorating contests.

But certain decorations can be harmful to the environment.

Here’s how you can create a super spooky campsite AND protect Ontario’s ecological integrity at the same time.

Continue reading 9 tips for eco friendly Halloween decor

Studying Coaster Brook Trout at Neys Provincial Park

Today’s post comes from Mitch Kostecki, Assistant Superintendent at White Lake Provincial Park.

If you have ever visited Neys Provincial Park, you know that it’s a gem found along the northern shore of Lake Superior.

Neys is known for its beautiful scenery along Superior’s rugged coastline, home to Lawren Harris’ famous painting “Pic Island,” and even has a history of being one of several POW camps located throughout northwestern Ontario during World War II.

What Neys isn’t quite as well known for? The excellent fishing opportunities found along that same rugged coastline.

Continue reading Studying Coaster Brook Trout at Neys Provincial Park

Keeping dogs on-leash protects our parks’ ecological integrity

Today’s blog comes from Emma Dennis, an assistant Discovery Program leader at Killarney Provincial Park.

I am a lover of the outdoors and an avid hiker, so it’s only natural that I own two dogs that share that same passions. As Killarney residents, we are lucky enough to have Killarney Provincial Park as our backyard.

Whether we are hitting the Granite Ridge Trail on a Sunday morning for a quick hike to start our day, or spending the afternoon adventuring to the top of “The Crack,” we live our best lives when we are hiking the trails.

Continue reading Keeping dogs on-leash protects our parks’ ecological integrity

Seeing spots at Pinery Provincial Park

Today’s post comes from Tanya Berkers, Resource Management Group Leader at Pinery Provincial Park.

You may be seeing spots the next time you visit Pinery’s Visitor Centre, and hopefully the birds will see them too!

The park has just installed thousands of vinyl dots on the windows to make them visible to our feathered friends.

Continue reading Seeing spots at Pinery Provincial Park

My 50 trees challenge

Today’s post comes from Sheila Wiebe, a Marketing and Development Specialist at Bronte Creek Provincial Park.

I recently celebrated the halfway point in my life. The milestone of 50 years on this Earth, half a century.

As I usually do around my birthday I reflected on the past year: the accomplishments, the challenges, and everything in between.

I felt like I needed to do something to commemorate the occasion. Continue reading My 50 trees challenge

How to leave the park greener than you found it

Today’s post comes from Sheila Wiebe, a marketing and development specialist at Bronte Creek Provincial Park.

I promise to be greener.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m already pretty green. However, after leading an Earth Day park clean up, I decided I need to take it one step further and double up my efforts to further reduce my impact on the environment.

Continue reading How to leave the park greener than you found it

On fire

Some of the technology to fight forest fires was first developed almost a century ago. The province has used this technology for many decades to prevent and extinguish wildfires in Ontario Parks and other protected areas.

Over time, we discovered something interesting. Aggressively extinguishing fires didn’t stop forest fires. It only postponed them.

We needed a strategy that protects people and property, but keeps forests strong and healthy too.

Continue reading On fire

The life of a resource steward

Today’s post comes from Rebecca Rogge, a travelling resource steward for the Northeast Zone.

I first started working for the Northeast Zone Resource Steward Program back in 2011. It seems like a lifetime ago.

At the time, it was a relatively new job in Ontario Parks. The program had only been around for a few years, and few of us existed.

Several parks were created in 1999, the majority of which were “non-operating” provincial parks. They generally do not have facilities or dedicated staff. Many protect recreational waterways and nature reserves protect rare flora, fauna and geological landscapes.

This is where we, the resource stewards, spend most of our time. In these wonderfully beautiful and diverse places.

Continue reading The life of a resource steward

Forever protected: why Holland Landing Prairie belongs

Our “Forever protected” series shares why each and every park belongs in Ontario Parks. In today’s post, Zone Ecologist Corina Brdar tells us Holland Landing Prairie’s story. 

“The mosquitoes have been exceedingly troublesome these two days past. It is almost impossible to sleep during the night, for they are quite as plentiful and every way as michievous [SIC] as during the day.”

Sounds familiar, huh?

This isn’t a comment from a frustrated camper – it’s a 200 year old journal entry by a Scottish explorer visiting what is now known as Holland Landing Prairie Nature Reserve.

Continue reading Forever protected: why Holland Landing Prairie belongs