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 then I 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.

Continue reading A Colorado snake fight made my life easier

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.

Continue reading Canadian Geographic’s Ontario Parks Giant Floor Map: bringing parks to the classroom

5 reasons to join Ontario Parks on Flipgrid

Teachers: get ready to meet your new best friend.

Flipgrid is an educator’s dream. It’s the perfect space for students to take part in meaningful discussions that will inspire your learners to share their voice and creativity.

Ontario Parks is excited to be a content partner with Flipgrid to help you meet curriculum expectations in your classroom.

Here are five reasons we think you should join us on Flipgrid:

Continue reading 5 reasons to join Ontario Parks on Flipgrid

Join us for Science Literacy Week!

Today’s post comes from Jessica Stillman, school outreach coordinator at Bronte Creek Provincial Park

What do a Polar Bear, a Prickly Pear Cactus, a Five-lined Skink, and a Bobolink all have in common?

Aside from their snazzy names, they’re plants and animals that require unique environments to survive. Some of these special spaces have been changing and disappearing throughout history.

That’s where Ontario Parks comes in. We protect important landscapes, and conduct research on how we can ensure the species living in parks can thrive.

This year, we’re excited to share the science of parks during Science Literacy Week.

Continue reading Join us for Science Literacy Week!

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.

Continue reading Dressing up like it’s 1900!

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.

Continue reading The Ontario Parks Discovery Program: 75 years in the making

Learning in the forest at MacGregor Point

When you think back to your childhood, what are some of your best memories?

Likely a lot of them involved playing and exploring in the outdoors.

Unfortunately, many children today don’t get this opportunity. Kids are often kept indoors by electronics and other distractions. They miss out on the developmental benefits of outdoor play.

This is where forest school comes in. Forest school combines nature with education for the ultimate outdoor learning experience.

Since September 2017, MacGregor Point Provincial Park has hosted Saugeen Shores Forest School, the first forest school in an Ontario provincial park.

Continue reading Learning in the forest at MacGregor Point

Pinery goes to battle for bats

Today’s post comes from Natural Heritage Education Supervisor Alistair MacKenzie and Bat Stewardship Technician Heather Sanders.

Did you know Pinery Provincial Park has been a bat research hot spot for more than four decades? We’ve collaborated with research groups at York University, Western University and the University of Waterloo.

Much of what we know about Ontario bats — including their migration, diet, and behaviour — is all thanks to work done at Pinery.

Continue reading Pinery goes to battle for bats

Kakabeka Falls inspires student art

Big thanks to the students of Valley Central Public School, especially Sara Miller (grade 7) and Trenten Scott (grade 8), for writing this post about their recent trip to Kakabeka Falls.

In September, students from the Valley Central School Learning Academies visited Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park for some outdoor learning.

The main intention of the trip was to plant trees in case the Emerald Ash Borer spreads into their forests. However the students also took the time to sketch landscapes, rock formations, trees, and — of course — the beautiful falls themselves.

Continue reading Kakabeka Falls inspires student art