Uncovering the “birdiest” trail at Pinery

Today’s post comes from Habitat Stewardship Technician Justin Johnson from Pinery Provincial Park. Justin has a M.Sc. in biology with a focus on bird acoustics. 

Birders are an interesting breed of people. Sometimes everything they do seems to subvert the norms of society.

Sleeping in? Rather not. Too much coffee? No such thing. $4500 binoculars? Yeah, I’ve seen it.

Birders’ bread and butter is local natural spaces and their trails. They can be very particular about which trails they walk. Seasoned birders often only use trails they perceive as “birdy,” neglecting those off their sacred path.

But how do we really know which trails are the “birdiest?”

Continue reading Uncovering the “birdiest” trail at Pinery

Confessions of a struggling birder

Today’s blog comes from Carlin Thompson, a discovery leader at Sandbanks Provincial Park.

My name is Carlin, and I’m a struggling birder.

As an Ontario Parks Discovery leader, I am surrounded by colleagues with a passion for the natural world — which I share.

Many share a specialty in identifying birds — which I do not.

These are my confessions.

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Darlington’s daring wetland restoration

In today’s post, Zone Ecologist Corina Brdar shares the exciting restoration story that’s been unfolding at Darlington Provincial Park.

There’s nothing like seeing an idea turn into reality, is there?

Especially when the idea is an enormous one, and it takes tons of cooperation from all kinds of players.

Continue reading Darlington’s daring wetland restoration

What it’s like to be a maintenance worker

Ever relaxed at a new picnic table? Tossed your trash in an empty garbage bin? Strolled along a freshly repaired boardwalk?

Thank a maintenance worker.

Our dedicated team of maintenance staff works hard to keep our parks in top shape, so that our visitors can relax and enjoy their vacations.

Here are six things they’d like you to know about working maintenance:

Continue reading What it’s like to be a maintenance worker

Beyond the beach: one naturalist’s 35-year-career at Sandbanks

Today’s post comes from Yvette Bree. Yvette has been the park naturalist at Sandbanks Provincial Park for 35 years and retires at the end of August this year.

1986. A year forever etched in my memory.

The year I graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Environmental Studies (B.E.S.) with a Resource Management option.

The year I was married to my high school boyfriend (still going strong).

And the year I got my first job with Ontario Parks.

Continue reading Beyond the beach: one naturalist’s 35-year-career at Sandbanks

What it’s like to work the front gate at a provincial park

Our front gate staff are frontline heroes of park operations.

(If you’ve ever checked in at a bustling park on a busy Friday afternoon, you know exactly what we’re talking about!)

Gate staff work extremely hard to get you into the park as quickly as possible, all while balancing many priorities in a hectic environment.

Here are five things they’d like you to know about working in the gatehouse:

Continue reading What it’s like to work the front gate at a provincial park

Are you offering Discovery programs this summer?

Yes, we are!

The Ontario Parks Discovery team is hard at work coming up with creative ways to connect visitors with the special stories and values protected in our parks.

If you visit any of the parks offering Discovery programming, you may connect with Discovery staff along a trail, as they rove through the campground, at a drop-in program, in a Visitor Centre, or at a scheduled program.

Continue reading Are you offering Discovery programs this summer?

Happy World Ranger Day!

Ontario Parks staff tackle a huge array of tasks and challenges.

Our days are diverse. You might find us researching rare species, applying First Aid to injured guests, maintaining safe and healthy water systems, building a boardwalk, or welcoming families to a busy campground.

We’re stewards of our province’s most treasured natural resources. We’re educators, instilling a love of nature in new generations of Ontarians.

Internationally, World Ranger Day celebrates their wonderful work protecting our parks, and commemorates park rangers killed or injured in the line of duty in park organizations with high-risk activities.

We’re proud to keep our parks safe and welcoming to visitors, while protecting our amazing natural world.

Continue reading Happy World Ranger Day!