Why is that a rule?

Excessive noise. Transporting firewood. Have you ever wondered why certain rules exist?

Thought, research, and science go into the laws and policies that cover provincial parks and conservation reserves. And it helps to understand the rationale.

Today, we’re sharing the logic behind a few of the rules our visitors ask us about most frequently:

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A wriggling invasion

We’d like to highlight one of the greatest threats to Ontario’s natural soil systems – earthworms!

Yes, you read that correctly. Many of us have a hard time picturing earthworms as a destructive force. After all, who hasn’t been told that they’re natural composters, food for cheerfully bopping robins in the spring, and great recyclers in our gardens?

But there’s one important fact about earthworms that most people aren’t aware of: they’re not supposed to be here.

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Invasive species in our parks: what’s your role?

In today’s post, Amy Hall, a resource management group leader, gets us up to speed on invasive species, and shares some of the great prevention work happening at Pinery Provincial Park.

It’s Invasive Species Awareness Week!

No matter what role you play in parks, you are an essential part of preventing the spread of invasive species in Ontario.

Which of these anti-invasive heroes sounds like you?

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6 ways to be the best park neighbour

Provincial parks are not islands.

Well, some of them are. What we mean is: there is no invisible wall around parks limiting their relationships with the outside world.

Even if you never visit a park, you benefit from the pollinator diversity they protect, the CO2 they sequester in wood, roots, and peat, and the clean water filtered by protected wetlands.

Plants, animals, fungi, microbes, water, and air move in and out of protected spaces, with intimate connections on both local and global levels.

In the same way, things that happen outside of park boundaries affect the ecosystems within them. What you do at home, work, or play can impact our parks.

Whether you live next door to a park or 100 km away, here are six ways your everyday actions can help keep parks and nature reserves healthy and biodiverse:

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Help prevent Spotted Lanternfly in Ontario

A new invasive species threat is closing in on Ontario, and we’re calling on you (yes, you!) to help keep it at bay.

Spotted Lanternfly threatens many of our native tree species, including maples, poplars, pines, and cherries. Grape vines are also susceptible to this pest.

We need our community scientists around the province to report sightings of the Spotted Lanternfly’s partner-in-crime: Tree of Heaven.

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How to be a responsible mountain biker

Mountain biking is a great way to exercise and spend time surrounded by nature.

It can also have a huge impact on the environment.

We know Ontario Parks trails are a favourite among mountain bikers, so we wanted to share some of our best practices to protect where you bike.

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The very hungry caterpillars

Note: this blog is about the non-native, highly invasive moth species Lymantria dispar dispar, which we have previously referred to as the Gypsy Moth or by the acronym LDD. In this article, we will refer to the moth using its new common name, Spongy Moth.

If you’ve seen an Ontario oak tree recently, you’ve likely been introduced to the invasive Spongy Moth (Lymantria dispar dispar).

Spongy Moth caterpillars were first introduced to North America in the late 1860s and are voracious eaters! Their favourite cuisine is oak leaves, but in particularly bad outbreak years — like this one — they can spread to many other tree species.

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Be an invasive species fighter! Clean, drain, dry your boat

Today’s post comes from our friends at the Invasive Species Centre.

Ontario is home to wonderful lakes, rivers and streams. Unfortunately, some of these waterways are home to aquatic invasive species such as Zebra or Quagga Mussels.

These species can be spread from one waterbody to another through watercraft that have not been properly cleaned, drained and dried between uses.

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