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 tramping through bogs to catch and identify dragonflies, flipping rocks to look for snakes, or canoeing along ancient 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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International Women and Girls in Science Day 2021

Happy International Day of Women and Girls in Science!

Our scientists are absolutely integral to Ontario Parks, working as researchers, biologists, ecologists, and more!

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The Turtle Protection Project

Threats like habitat loss, predators, and vehicle collisions are causing turtles to disappear from the landscape at an alarming rate. All eight of Ontario’s turtle species are now at risk.

We’re seeking donations for our Turtle Protection Project. Every dollar raised will be used to fund turtle research and protection projects in provincial parks.

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The incredible legacy of Maw at Sleeping Giant

Today’s post comes from Rachelle Law, Discovery Leader at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.

Sleeping Giant is known for several things, one of them being our awe-inspiring views of the Sleeping Giant.

Another is our park cleaner nicknamed “Maw”, who is retiring from the park this year.

Working at the park for 39 years, Maw has become part of the true fabric of the park. She has left an extraordinary impact on the park, visitors and staff.

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Love at first snap: caring for Spike at Emily Provincial Park

In our “Behind the Scenes” series, Discovery Program staff across the province share a backstage glimpse of their favourite programs and projects. Today’s post comes from Rosemary Minns from Emily Provincial Park.

Emily Provincial Park is a lovely place. Plenty of docks to fish, beaches to swim, and large campsites. I was extremely excited to work as a Discovery student at Emily. There was one catch to this job…

…I had to learn to take care of a Snapping Turtle. 

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The ultimate Pinery challenge

In today’s post, Sarah Fencott, a naturalist at Pinery Provincial Park is sharing her journey to completing the ultimate Pinery challenge. The goal? To complete all ten trails at Pinery, including lookouts and extensions. 

Last year, my goal was to hike every trail before the end of the summer. I completed my goal with three days left in my contract.

This year, my goal was to hike all of the trails in one week. This worked out well, as we needed to do an infrastructure survey of the park trails anyway! By hiking three trails per day I had completed my goal within my first week back at work.

With my initial goal so easily achieved, I set my sights on a new challenge that would be harder than anything I had done in the park before: the Tour de Pinery.

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What goes into closing a park for the winter?

While 31 provincial parks remain open for the winter, the rest hibernate until spring.

But closing a park isn’t as simple as just locking the gates. Our staff put a lot of elbow grease into prepping each park for the winter.

Here are just a few of the tasks we do each fall:

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Planes, paddles and portages: a journey of garbage

This is a story about garbage.

It wasn’t a quick journey. It took a plane ride, some paddling in a canoe, portaging, more paddling, another plane ride, and a drive on the highway.

This garbage was left in Algonquin Provincial Park’s remote backcountry, something that, unfortunately, happens far too often.

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Quetico’s wilderness voices

Today’s post comes from Jill Legault, an information specialist at Quetico Provincial Park.

Quetico’s oral histories have been locked away on archival cassettes at the John B. Ridley Research Library — until now.

Courtesy of history enthusiasts from the University of Wisconsin Whitewater, they have come out of the vault and into our ears.

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