Open eyes, open mind: nature journaling with kids

In today’s post, Discovery Leader Carlin Thompson from Sandbanks Provincial Park shares her top tips for nature journaling with kids.

We did it, parents! We made it through another winter.

The struggle of tackling young children into layered outerwear and the scavenger hunts for matching mittens now seem like a distant memory. What sweet relief.

But before the unbridled joy of shucking the outerwear gives way to sunscreen-application-induced carpal tunnel and the din of summer boredom, let’s capitalize on our children’s excitement to be outside.

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How will I know ecological integrity when I see it?

Preserving ecological integrity is a priority for all of us here at Ontario Parks. But just what does ecological integrity look like? Algonquin Provincial Park Naturalist David LeGros explains…

When I start many of my evening programs at Algonquin, I often ask the audience if they like nature.

Usually I get a lot of hands up in the air, but there are always a few that don’t put their hands up. I tell those people, “You might be in the wrong place, because Algonquin is crawling with nature.” I know these folks may have not been paying attention to what I was saying or chose not to participate in my survey, but it always gets a laugh from the crowd.

However, this did get me thinking about why we go to parks over staying home or visiting a big city…

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A trip down the Pakeshkag River at Grundy Lake Provincial Park

Today’s post comes from Sonje Bols, a former naturalist at Grundy Lake Provincial Park.

Part of a park naturalist’s job is to familiarize themselves with the natural and cultural wonders of their park through exploration.

Whether it’s hanging out at bogs to catch and identify dragonflies, checking rocks for snakes, or canoeing along Indigenous canoe routes, naturalists set out to observe and explore every inch of their parks so they can bring that knowledge and experience to park visitors and managers.

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Keeping up with the Canada Jay

Today’s blog post comes from bird researchers Alex Sutton and Koley Freeman, PhD candidates at the University of Guelph.

In the world of Canada Jays, winter means one thing: it’s breeding season!

Canada Jays are common in Algonquin Provincial Park. Continuing a 55 year-old tradition, a dedicated team of researchers is monitoring breeding pairs. This is the longest study of its kind in the world!

With each passing year, more is learned about the breeding behaviour and life history of these remarkable birds.

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The scavenger hunt for survival

Today’s post comes from Anna Scuhr, a naturalist with Lake Superior Provincial Park

The arrival of snow and ice transforms the rugged landscape of Lake Superior Provincial Park into a stunningly beautiful, albeit unforgiving place to live.

As temperatures drop, the park can accumulate up to six feet of snow in the interior. The snow makes just about every aspect of an animal’s life more challenging.

Northern winters are a true test of an animal’s fitness. Let’s look at how they adapt to survive long, harsh winters.

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A beginner’s guide to snowshoeing

This winter, outdoor activities are a great option to keep you happy and healthy. It’s the perfect time to try something new – like snowshoeing!

For any winter activity, planning ahead and a bit of research can go a long way to make sure your day is safe and fun!

So what does a beginner snowshoer need to know?

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Add nature to your self-care toolkit

As the days get shorter and the colder weather arrives, it’s time to talk self-care.  Bubble baths and meditation are great options, but have you considered adding nature to your self-care toolkit?

October 10 is World Mental Health Day, and it’s the perfect time to think of ways we can take care of ourselves and our families.

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The great outdoors are… great!

Today’s blog comes from Sarah Higginson, a market development specialist with Ontario Parks.

August is over and so is the Healthy Parks Healthy People 30×30 Challenge.

This was my first year taking on the challenge (not counting the year I did it for two days then got distracted) and it was a magical month-long adventure filled with scenery, sunshine, and even some self-awareness!

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The cat and the Mudbug: a guide to using iNaturalist

Cellphones have changed our lives in many ways. It seems like there’s an app available to cater to our every need, from baking to banking and all things in between.

In Ontario Parks, we generally encourage green time over screen time, however there’s one app we believe every visitor should have on their phone.

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