Today’s blog was written by Discovery Program Project Coordinator Jessica Stillman.
This summer, Grundy Lake Provincial Park, Killbear Provincial Park, and The Massasauga Provincial Park collaborated with the Georgian Bay Mnidoo Gamii Biosphere (GBB) to host bioblitzes within the world’s largest freshwater archipelago.
What is a bioblitz? In short, it is a community science event for recording different species within a certain location and time.
For these events, park visitors, Friends members, and staff from both Ontario Parks and GBB came together to inventory living things by uploading them to iNaturalist.
Continue reading Community science with the Georgian Bay Mnidoo Gamii Biosphere
Today’s post comes from Nicholas Ypelaar, former assistant Discovery coordinator at Awenda Provincial Park.
“EW! SNAKES!” and/or accompanying fearful shrieks are phrases I’m all too familiar with.
In defense of all those who have zero affinity to the limbless scaled reptiles of the world, I can understand it. My grandmother grew up in Goa, India, where venomous snakes such as cobras and kraits are commonplace.
As humans, we tend to build fears based on what we perceive as dangerous to help us survive. However, we aren’t the only species trying to survive.
I’d like to dispel the myth that Ontario snakes are dangerous through the lens of a particular “bad actor,” the threatened Eastern Hog-nosed Snake.
Continue reading (Don’t fear) The Eastern Hog-nosed Snake
Today’s post comes from Laura McClintock, a senior park naturalist at Sibbald Point Provincial Park.
I’m a naturalist.
I work in one of the busiest parks in the province, yet I’m always seeking out a quiet meadow or shoreline to observe nature.
While known for our popular beach and access to Lake Simcoe, Sibbald Point is a small but mighty hub of biodiversity.
Every season has its perks, but for nature lovers and solitude seekers alike, fall camping at Sibbald Point is where it’s at.
Here are some of the perks in store for Sibbald Point this fall:
Continue reading Experience autumn at Sibbald Point Provincial Park
Today’s blog was written by Jessica Stillman, school outreach coordinator at Bronte Creek Provincial Park.
Moths are marvelous!
While we may mock their desire to go towards the light, they lead interesting and diverse lives.
With over 2,800 species of moths recorded in Ontario on iNaturalist, we wanted to shed some light on five moth facts that we think you need to know this National Moth Week: Continue reading 5 marvelous moth facts
In today’s post, Neys Provincial Park Discovery staff Jessie Pleasance helps us gain some identifying skills.
Summer’s in full swing, so it’s time to brush up on your nature detective sleuthing skills!
Continue reading How to be a summer nature detective
In today’s blog, Discovery Project Program Coordinator Jessica Stillman reflects on our mutual relationship with the Great Lakes.
Our human history is reflected in their waters.
The Great Lakes capture our past, influence our present, and inspire our future.
Imagine the stories they could tell.
These bodies of water are called the Great Lakes for a reason: from their size (the largest surface freshwater system on Earth) to their role in our collective history, where do we even begin to share what makes them great?
Continue reading What makes the Great Lakes so great?
When you first hear the word “bioblitz,” you might be a little confused. What does this strange word mean?
When you break the word down into smaller pieces, it becomes much easier to understand: “bio” means “life” and “blitz” means a “sudden, energetic, and concerted effort, typically on a specific task.”
Continue reading What’s a bioblitz?
`In today’s post, Kettle Lakes Provincial Park‘s senior park naturalist Sarah Wiebe shows us that loons and campers aren’t so different!
Just like many families, Common Loons choose Kettle Lakes as the place to stay with their family in the summer.
You could say that loon families love parks as much as we do!
Like many visitors, I grew up visiting parks, spending every summer of my childhood exploring shorelines and lakes.
I would spend hours making sandcastles at Arrowhead Provincial Park, splashing in the water at Balsam Lake Provincial Park, going fishing in The Massasauga Provincial Park, and paddling through Algonquin Provincial Park.
I can easily say that I love parks.
As I was watching a family of loons return to the lake near our staff house at Kettle Lakes this spring, it got me thinking about how loons like to spend their summers in Ontario Parks, too!
By observing the loons, I’ve noticed that loons love parks as much we do.
Continue reading Loons are like campers — they love their park!
We’ve made 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.
Continue reading Join our community of science
In today’s post, Algonquin Provincial Park‘s Assistant Superintendent David LeGros helps us celebrate a big milestone for community scientists around the province!
For over five years now, Ontario Parks has been encouraging park visitors to submit their observations of nature — everything from plants, animals, and fungi — to our community science project in iNaturalist.
Over the Thanksgiving weekend, we surpassed 500,000 observations of 10,325 species by 11,688 observers — a fantastic feat!
Our visitors really like submitting observations.
I tip my Tilley hat to you all.
Continue reading An iNaturalist milestone: 500,000 observations!