Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Today’s post comes from Ontario Parks 125th Anniversary Coordinator Laura Myers.

Throughout 2018, Ontario Parks’ 125th anniversary has inspired us to reflect on our past and imagine our future. We thought it would be fun to think about the jobs that might be needed at Ontario Parks as we move into our next 125 years!

1. Park Time Travel Guide

Black and white photo of a park interpreter with a group on a guided hike in Algonquin Provincial Park.Photo: Algonquin Provincial Park Archives and Collections

When time travel becomes a reality, Ontario Parks interpretive programs will be more experiential than ever! The park’s time travel guides would take you back in time to experience what it was really like to be a traveler in Samuel de Champlain or to see how retreating glaciers formed the Kettle Lakes.

costumed woman holding candyThe time travel guides will take you back to the year 1893, the day Algonquin officially became a provincial park, and offer you the experience of painting alongside members of the Group of Seven in Killarney.

Plus, guides will take you into the future to discover how the parks have stayed the same and how biologists use futuristic technology to continue protecting the species that inhabit provincial parks.

2. Dark Sky Specialist

In 2018, Ontario Parks announced two new dark sky reserves. Killarney Provincial Park and Lake Superior Provincial Park were granted Dark Sky Reserve status by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

Northern lights over the beach at Neys Provincial ParkNorthern Lights, Neys Provincial Park

Night skies are important for protecting ecological and human health. Perhaps a dark sky specialist is written in the stars for the future of Ontario parks?

Ontario Parks dark sky specialists could work to increase the number of dark sky reserves in the province and develop educational programming to raise awareness about the importance of dark skies.

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3. Raccoon Ranger

This year, park staff shared their thoughts on what creatures would invade their parks by the year 2043; The consensus was that raccoons would be the bandits raiding the parks!

The raccoon ranger may be a needed job in the future to help manage predictions of raiding raccoons. Let’s prove this wrong: keep your campsites free of debris and wildlife attractants, and leave your trash safe at home.

Raccoon in the grass

4. Canopy Tent Instructor

Maybe canopy tents will be the next glamping experience. Imagine solar-powered tents floating above the forest canopy. Canopy tents would provide spectacular views and cloud-like comfort.

Ontario Parks staff show a mother and her son how to set up a tent.

Taking camping to new heights, canopy tent instructors would ensure that campers have a first-class experience!

Aerial photo of the forest canopy in Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Provincial Park.Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Provincial Park

Say goodbye to sleeping on the floor and wake up to the warblers!

5. Forest bathing guide

Park forest bathing guides could be a job position added to Ontario Parks’ roster to help visitors return to nature and experience the healing benefits of spending time outdoors. With an increasingly urban society, regular contact with nature is more important than ever.

Staff Walking through the woods at Charleston Lake Provincial Park

Ontario Parks supports the global Healthy Parks Healthy People movement to promote and understand the link between a healthy environment and a healthy society. With good health and good weather, forest bathing guides may be the job of the future for Ontario Parks.

6. Master s’mores chef

Why not have a master s’mores chef in every park who travels to every campground by bike? Imagine gourmet toppings for s’mores, like caramel sauce, fresh cranberries, Nerds, M&M’s, peanut butter cups and more!

woman eating marshmallow

The master s’mores chef will teach you how to roast a perfect marshmallow with a rotating marshmallow stick equipped with sensors that will tell you when your marshmallow is going to catch on fire.

Marshmallow roasting stick

The master s’mores chef will always leave you wanting more with this excellent service. The campground’s s’mores service would be provided free of charge to campers who contribute to citizen science during their stay.

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7. Hovercraft Operator

Hovercraft operators would have to fly hovercraft in Ontario parks that imitate hummingbirds. The hovercraft would be quiet (so as not to disturb wildlife or campers) and extremely efficient, producing minimal wind production.

View of Barron Canyon and forest landscape in Algonquin Provincial Park.Barron Canyon, Algonquin Provincial Park

These futuristic hovercraft would be compact to allow staff to access remote locations for field work without trampling on plants or disturbing sensitive ecosystems!

Hovercraft operators would also be responsible for responding to emergencies in the field, as hovercraft would be able to traverse rough terrain, transportation, rivers, and lakes with speed and ease.

8. Teleportation Technician

Ontario Parks teleportation technicians would help visitors plan their best trips to the park. Teleportation would allow visitors to visit more parks near and far, saving time and money! Teleportation would also reduce fuel consumption, contributing to a healthier and greener future.

Prepare your wish lists, imagine the number of parks you can visit.

Park staff standing in the forest taking notes on a clipboard.

Teleportation technicians would also help park ecologists safely transport invasive species to their place of origin.

9. Park Emoji Designer

We certainly get by with the current selection of emojis, but imagine life if we had an Ontario Parks emoji designer? You could express your adventures in the park with greater precision and style.

Camper taking a photo of a mossy stump on a smartphone.

Priority emojis would include a park ranger, a tree-eyed emoji, a hiking boot, more species native to Ontario, the northern lights, a s’more, a camping mug, a hiker, a Coleman lantern, an outhouse, a park permit and a motor home and camping trailer.

Our Past, Present and Future Pioneers of Ontario Parks

No matter the job, it is with confidence that the workforce of the future will do their jobs with pride, dedication and passion. Ontario Parks staff have been pioneers for the past 125 years, ensuring the future of provincial parks is as bright as a summer sunset.

Park staff holding a monarch butterfly while doing the Vulcan salute.

A huge, heartfelt “thank you!” Our thanks to all past and present Ontario Parks staff for the incredible work they do.

What job do YOU ​​think Ontario Parks will be hiring for in the next 125 years?