There’s no such thing as “just a forest”

In today’s post, Park Naturalist Nicole Guthrie discusses what makes a forest a forest, and the unique features of Pinery Provincial Park.

This week marks National Forest Week in Canada, making it the perfect time to discuss the astounding diversity of species and ecosystems in forests because there’s no such thing as “just a forest.”

Each forest has a unique combination of soil types, microclimates, and pollution levels, which all dictate which species can take up residence there.

If you’ve ever been to Pinery, you’ve likely enjoyed their beautiful forest.

But did you know it isn’t actually all forest?

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Healing in the forest: a guide to forest bathing

Let’s take a walk in the woods.

With no specific destination in mind, we will wander, observe and immerse ourselves in nature. Allow our senses to guide us.

When was the last time you walked into the woods with no plans? No final destination? Without a species to ID, hill to climb, or lookout to conquer?

This is exactly the experience offered by a forest bathing session.

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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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80 years of change in Neys’ sand dunes

Today’s post comes from Micaela Lewis, a Discovery Program student at Neys Provincial Park.

Gazing through Neys’ iconic forested dune system is an awe-inspiring experience that park visitors cherish.

With the soft sand, lichen-covered trees, and colourful wildflowers, the forest appears almost enchanted.

But the landscape didn’t always look this way.

The dunes have been present for thousands of years, as the Little Pic River has deposited sand along the banks of the river and into Ashburton Bay.

The bay is hugged by a long stretch of beach that the park is well known for. Waves created by the winds over Lake Superior move the sand ashore, forming the dunes.

The dunes of Neys have seen years of change. Come with us on a journey through history to explore this unique ecosystem.

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5 fantastic forests to visit this spring

It’s International Day of Forests!

Ontario Parks protects a collection of breathtakingly beautiful forests from across the province. Each will be brimming with signs of life as the snow melts and temperatures warm.

Let’s take a look at five unique forests you can visit this spring.

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Waldeinsamkeit: solitude in the forest

Picture this: you’re alone, deep into a forested trail. Your only companions are the birds fluttering from branch to branch around you. As you walk, you follow a corridor made of pillars of ancient trees, and smell the earthy aroma of moss and damp leaves.

How do you feel? It’s hard to describe, but the words which immediately come to mind are calm, peaceful, and contemplative. You feel a deep-rooted connection to the world around you, and you are reminded of the importance of our natural environment.

There’s a word for that feeling: waldeinsamkeit.

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Healthy Parks Healthy People Day 2021

Spending time in nature is good for our mind and body. We sleep better and think more clearly. Stress and anxiety slip away.

Research shows being outside can lower blood pressure, strengthen our immune system, and helps us relax. With over 330 provincial parks, there is much to do and see in Ontario Parks.

To celebrate how great nature makes us feel, we’re partnering with SAIL to offer free day-use on Friday, July 16 to celebrate Healthy Parks Healthy People Day!

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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