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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Just for the gull of it!

In today’s post, Awenda’s Chief Park Naturalist Tim Tully defends what some may think is the undefendable: the gull. 

If there was ever an animal that gets a raw deal, it’s the gull.

It’s time to set the record straight and come to the defense of this unfairly maligned avian “underbird.”

For starters, we can’t even get the name right. I hate to tell you, folks, but there is no such thing as a seagull!

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Hitting the trails? Know the etiquette before you go

Matt Cunliffe started at Ontario Parks in 2006 and has spent over a decade working as a park interpreter and an assistant park planner, and is now a Discovery Leader at MacGregor Provincial Park. An avid trail user and self-proclaimed nature geek, when he’s not on the clock, you’re likely to find him onto a new discovery somewhere in one of our parks.

Spring has sprung and I, like many Ontarians, cannot wait hike and bike as many trails as I can.

While you’re getting your gear ready for the next adventure, here are some tips to help you prepare and minimize impacts while you are out enjoying the trails.

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The trouble with balloons

Today’s post comes from David Bree, our Senior Natural Heritage Education Leader at Presqu’ile Provincial Park, and passionate protector of Ontario’s shorebirds.

I don’t know Jason. But I do know he turned six sometime in the last two months and he had a wonderful party with cake, presents and balloons, surrounded by friends and family.

I hope he had a good time, but I wonder if he knows the legacy of his sixth birthday — from my perspective — is unsightly litter, extra work and possibly untimely death.

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DROP Unit formed to recover lost selfie gear

Today’s post comes from Park Naturalist Roger LaFontaine, a highly trained DROP specialist who aids in the retrieval of technology in distress or imminent danger.

With so many people coming to our amazing parks last year, social media was loaded with pictures. They took pictures of the landscape, wildlife, their families and friends, and themselves — lots of themselves.

And shortly after our spring visitors returned, we started getting the calls.

On average, they went something like this: “Hi, I was out with my family at X trail, and I got close to the edge of the cliff to take a selfie of our group. When I was trying to take the picture, I dropped my phone over the edge. Can someone come find it for us?”.

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Don’t leave it hanging

Our trees are spectacular organisms. They make oxygen, can live to be quite old, have beautiful foliage, provide homes and food for countless wildlife, and through transpiration of water through their leaves, can even influence the weather.

Maybe our trees do deserve some form of decoration or recognition?

I was out in my park the other day, and with the leaves gone, I did notice some brightly coloured decorations on a tree down the trail.

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