Considerate Camper: keep our trees healthy

Welcome to our “Considerate Camper” series. These are posts with tips and reminders on how to keep our provincial parks clean and healthy. Already know how it’s done? Please share these posts along for less-experienced campers 🙂

We’re taking a leaf out of the Lorax’s book and speaking for the trees today!

When maintaining our campgrounds, we often notice marks in our trees. Many are from axes and nails, and plenty of trees have names, shapes and initials carved across their bark.

Did you know these holes and gouges risk the tree’s health and may result in its destruction?

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Why social trails are damaging to provincial parks

Park-lovers are natural explorers, and we love our visitors’ passion for adventure.

Sometimes, we see our visitors create their own shortcuts by cutting through sensitive habitat. This is otherwise known as creating a social trail.

Social trails can have a wide range of damaging effects on protected areas, and we’d like to ask our visitors to always stay on designated trails.

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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.

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#ForTheLoveOfParks: 5 ways to help keep parks clean and safe this year

Last year, Ontario’s protected areas experienced record-breaking demand.

Ontario Parks received 11 million visits, and Parks Canada reported over 2 million visits.

That’s 13 million visits to Ontario’s provincial and national parks in one year. That’s roughly equivalent to the population of Ontario!

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Worst of the worst: a naturalist’s list of the most harmful types of litter

Today Yvette Bree, a Discovery Leader at Sandbanks Provincial Park for over 30 years, shares some thoughts about this season. 

2020 will go down as — to put it mildly — a difficult year for many people.

Although affected by the world around me, I choose to acknowledge that I am pretty lucky: I live in a great country, a great province, and have enjoyed a career in a stunningly beautiful park.

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Can we bring painted rocks to the park?

Art and nature go together like columbine flowers and hummingbird tongues.

Indigenous artists express their relationship to land through art; Canada’s Group of Seven found inspiration in several Ontario Parks; parks offer residency programs, and our park visitors find many artistic ways to capture their memories. We love it when visitors share their artistic creations with us.

However, a new trend is starting to cause problems province-wide: the painted rock.

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Help us protect Lion’s Head Provincial Park’s sensitive species and ecosystems

Lion’s Head Provincial Park needs our help! This summer, the park has experienced high use, which is putting stress on this amazing habitat.

What you may not know is that Lion’s Head Provincial Park is open for day use only, and has limited parking and no facilities or camping.

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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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Planes, paddles and portages: a journey of garbage

This is a story about garbage.

It wasn’t a quick journey. It took a plane ride, some paddling in a canoe, portaging, more paddling, another plane ride, and a drive on the highway.

This garbage was left in Algonquin Provincial Park’s remote backcountry, something that, unfortunately, happens far too often.

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Are you an ethical wildlife photographer?

You’ve recently unwrapped the latest iphone or a shiny new digital camera, perhaps an SLR with some fancy lenses.

Now you have itchy shutter fingers. You’re ready to point our camera at something spectacular and capture a beautiful memory forever. But where to go?

Not to brag, but Ontario Parks are beautiful, iconic places. Covering nearly 10% of the province and protecting some of Ontario’s most rare and scenic habitats, our parks are home to a variety of wildlife, from fascinating insects to enormous moose.

Basically, they’re a photographer’s dreamscape.

We’re asking everyone to do their part to minimize the risk to yourself and others by following all public health advice, including physical distancing, and only engaging in outdoor activities close to where you live.

We’re animal lovers too. We know how exhilarating wildlife encounters can be. We understand how badly you want that perfect photo.

But before you hit the road, ask yourself: is taking the perfect photograph worth risking an animal’s life or an ecosystem’s health?

If your answer is “no,” check out our list of seven common photography infractions to ensure you’re keeping our parks safe and healthy.

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