Earth Day: 5 Ways to Celebrate at Ontario Parks

After a long winter, it's time to go out and explore.

Forests are a rainbow of green. Wildflowers carpet park woods. Songbirds are back. Creatures bear young and lake ice has all but disappeared. Opening dates for seasonal parks vary, so be sure to check operating dates before you go.

Here are five fun ways to celebrate Mother Earth:

1. Take your kids on a kid-friendly hike

Matt Cunliffe, an Ontario Parks naturalist, has written a post for the Parks Blog that shows you how to get your kids interested in the magical sights, sounds and smells of the season.

Courtesy of Ontario Parks

2.  Use your smartphone as a field guide

Turn your smartphone into a field guide. Photograph a butterfly, video tape a slow-moving turtle or record a birdsong and then search a match for each so you can enter your geotagged observation. Take a look at seven free apps to choose from.

Courtesy of Ontario Parks

3. Get to know your songbirds

Provincial parks along Lake Ontario, Lake Erie and Lake Huron host songbird festivals every spring. If you’re a budding birder, this is an opportunity to learn your birds through the eyes of expert birders and park naturalists. Join morning bird walks, guided night hikes and workshops with birdbanding demonstrations and nature photography. 

Courtesy of Ontario Parks

4. Go fishing

Anglers fish for trout just after April ice-out. Walleye fishing season begins a bit later, in mid May. If you’re looking for a fishing trip of a lifetime, try one of these Northeastern Ontario Parks. Would you like to learn to fish? Sign up for a free Learn to Fish lesson at Ontario Parks. Equipment and instruction are provided.

Courtesy of Ontario Parks

5. Discover why your favourite park is a one-of-a-kind

Ontario’s most popular parks have a major challenge. They must balance their ecological integrity while providing park recreation. Discover what goes on behind-the-scenes of your favourite park and you may be surprised. Sandbanks Provincial Park is a good example. “Most people think of Sandbanks’ beaches, but there’s so much more,” says Yvette Bree. The park’s Natural Heritage Education Leader was this year’s winner of the Ontario Parks Ecological Integrity Award. She wants visitors to appreciate how unique and fragile Sandbanks is. 

Courtesy of Ontario Parks

 

Ontario Parks posts regularly on Twitter and Facebook. They also offer Learn to Camp, a guided camping experience if you’re new to camping. Registration starts May 8th. Equipment is included. 

 

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