The Turtle Protection Project

Threats like habitat loss, predators, and vehicle collisions are causing turtles to disappear from the landscape at an alarming rate. All eight of Ontario’s turtle species are now at risk.

We’re seeking donations for our Turtle Protection Project. Every dollar raised will be used to fund turtle research and protection projects in provincial parks.

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Forever protected: why Mark S. Burnham belongs

Our “Forever protected” series shares why each and every park belongs in Ontario Parks. In today’s post, Social Media Specialist Alexander Renaud tells us Mark S. Burnham’s story.

For almost two centuries — as the area around Mark S. Burnham Provincial Park turned from wilderness to farm fields, and eventually, to a bustling city — the trees within its boundaries have remained relatively untouched.

This lack of development is a rare phenomenon in southern Ontario. The ecosystem within has been able to thrive and provide habitat for a variety of species, becoming one of the best-preserved old-growth forests in the county.

For these reasons, Mark S. Burnham belongs. Continue reading Forever protected: why Mark S. Burnham belongs

Enhancing biodiversity in Killarney’s tree plantations

This article was written by Connor Oke, a marketing intern at Ontario Parks, using information provided by Ed Morris, Ontario Parks’ northeast zone ecologist. 

When Killarney Provincial Park was established in 1964, park managers faced a problem: what to do with old fields belonging to former homesteads within the park’s boundaries.

To prevent the spread of weedy species, they decided to plant trees, including White Spruce and Red Pine, and regrow the forests.

Continue reading Enhancing biodiversity in Killarney’s tree plantations

Join our community of science

We’re making the switch from citizen science to community science.

Here at Ontario Parks, we love it when our visitors can get involved in science.

From iNaturalist to Bumblebee Watch, eBird, bioblitzes, and more, volunteers help us to collect important information about our parks.

These efforts help us to understand how plant and animal populations are changing over time, and help us to discover previously unknown populations of rare species. They also allow us to react quickly if someone discovers an invasive species in a new area.

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Planes, paddles and portages: a journey of garbage

This is a journey 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.

Continue reading Planes, paddles and portages: a journey of garbage

9 tips for eco friendly Halloween decor

Many campers like to jump into the Halloween spirit by decorating their campsites.

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.

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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

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 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.

Continue reading Are you an ethical wildlife photographer?

Lake land playgrounds

Today’s post comes from Emily Wright, a Discovery Leader at Grundy Lake Provincial Park. The park is surrounded by three crystal-clear lakes, and that rich biodiversity inspired Emily to take us on an aquatic tour of Ontario’s lakes and some of the complex life cycles contained within, from hard-working microbe clean-up crews to feisty Largemouth Bass.

Cannonballing into a refreshing lake, casting a line hoping for the “big one,” dipping your paddle into serene waters, or simply enjoying the shifting lights dancing across the water’s surface on a sunny day…

Lakes offer us a plethora of enjoyment, both invigorating as you take a brisk swim, or peaceful and relaxing as you watch a sunset turn the waters from blue-green to wine red.

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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.

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