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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Celebrate Earth Day all summer long: Plan a date with Mother Nature at Ontario Parks

Hiking at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, Lake Superior (Ontario Parks photo)
Get out! Here are five easy ways

Get close to Nature. Learn to camp.
2014 registration for Ontario Parks' Learn to Camp began today, April 17. Named Innovator of the Year by the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAC) in 2013, Learn to Camp teaches newbies how to pitch a tent, build a campfire safely and cook on a camp stove. Park staff lead the overnight experiences. All camping and cooking equipment is provided. Participants bring their own food and bedding. Program coordinator, Jeff Brown says, "This hands-on training is exactly what new campers look for in their first camping experience.” Book early. https://www.ontarioparks.com/learntocamp

Join a trout-fishing workshop
A perfect Mother's Day or Father's Day gift for any mom or dad who loves to fish -  Retired Senior Fishing Specialist, Greg Betteridge, of the Algonquin Fisheries Assessment Unit, will lead three summer trout fishing workshops in Algonquin Provincial Park. Preregistration is required. http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/visit/recreational_activites/fishing-in-algonquin-park.php  All proceeds support the charitable work of The Friends of Algonquin Park, one of 27 Friends groups at Ontario Parks. Friends dedicate their time to enhance the unique educational, recreational, research and resource protection mandates of the parks they are affiliated with. More on the Friends and links to big park events two Friends groups have planned for 2014 are in this blog post, http://www.parkreports.com/parksblog/?p=5765

Meet Ontario's natural world
Connect kids to nature and they become tomorrow's conservationists. Last year, 37,000 of them participated in Natural Heritage Education (NHE) programs at Ontario Parks. These entertaining, hands-on activities led by knowledgeable park staff introduce kids to Ontario's natural world, one that is home to 81 species of mammal, 483 bird species, 26 species of amphibians, 27 reptile species and 154 freshwater fish species. Over 40 provincial parks feature free NHE activities every summer to park permit holders. The quality of NHE programming and leadership is demonstrated in this Park Blog post, http://www.parkreports.com/parksblog/?p=5791

Rent a cabin or yurt or...
Yurts, cabins, rustic cabins, heritage houses, cottages, and even lodges can be rented at Ontario Parks. Arrowhead Provincial Park near Huntsville added four new cabins and yurts late last year. Murphys Point Provincial Park in Eastern Ontario and The Pinery Provincial Park on Lake Huron have new yurts and cabins. New accommodations are planned for more parks in 2014. For a complete list of what's available to book this summer, visit the Roofed Accommodation section on the Ontario Parks web site, http://www.ontarioparks.com/roofedaccommodation

Take Parkbus
Take Parkbus to Ontario Parks. This year, the transportation company will service Six Mile Lake Provincial Park from Toronto in addition to Algonquin, Killarney, French River, and Grundy Lake Provincial Parks. Learn to Camp is offered at Six Mile Lake and Grundy Lake. Parkbus also services Algonquin from Ottawa. http://www.parkreports.com/parksblog/?p=5633

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