Today’s blog was written by Jessica Stillman, School Outreach Coordinator at Bronte Creek Provincial Park.
Parks are magical places.
I don’t need to convince you of this.
But sometimes we all need a little help unlocking the magic around us. That’s where discovery guides and exploration stations come in!
That is An exploration station?
That’s a great question!
These expertly designed stations are designed with exploration in mind.
They’re full of things to touch, games to play, gadgets to wonder about, and so much more—they’re not just for the youngest campers, but for the young at heart, too.
The scanning stations are walk-in, meaning you can stop by during their operating time and stay as long as you like.
It is not uncommon to wonder after a show “how did time fly so quickly?” or “why was it so fun to explore?”
That’s part of the magic!
As if by magic, Discovery Guides transform a picnic table, beach area, field, or park store entrance into an exploration station.
With a flick of the wrist, a simple area becomes a place to discover.
Your discovery guide is a magician. But they’re not the star of the show: you are!
Its function is to give you the tools to make your own magic happen, and your stage is the park. They have tricks to help evoke discovery, awe and wonder. While good wizards never share their secrets, our discovery guides want you to know the secrets of good exploration.
Here are the 10 exploration stations that will appear in participating parks across the province during July and August.
make your own magic
While we may not be part of the Ministry of Magic, our Discovery Guides and their Exploration Stations are magicians at their craft. They have the tips and tricks to turn us all into magicians so we can better explore and enjoy the parks.
Join them this summer for a program: bring your discovery activity book (or pick one up at the Exploration Station) and make your discovery pledge.
To find an exploration station near you, check the events page of the parks that offer these magical programs to see the schedule of their upcoming programs.
We can’t wait to make magic with you at an Exploration Station this summer!
|Scanning stations||Program description|
|Aquatic acrobats||Wetlands and coastal habitats are home to a wide variety of life, and are wonderful lands to explore! Grab a wand, we mean a dip net, to explore, observe and discover the aquatic inhabitants of our park.|
|art in the park||Some of Canada’s greatest artists have been inspired by the beauty of nature in Ontario’s provincial parks. Nature is full of color, texture and patterns – create art from the environment around you!|
|Discovery walk||Explore a trail using your senses – who knows what magical things you’ll discover! Lace up your hiking shoes and stop by the Discovery table for tips and tools to explore a hiking trail at your own pace.|
|Discovery walk||Explore the park using your senses. Get ready to see like a bee and hear like a deer! Stop by the Discovery table for tips and tools to explore at your own pace.|
|feathered friends||How many birds have you seen or heard in the park? Ontario’s birds come in all kinds of shapes, sizes and colors and are an important part of our local biodiversity – the amazing variety of life around us.|
|amazing insects||In the air, on land, and even underwater, insects seem to be everywhere, making them easy to explore, observe, and discover!|
|Nature Detectives||You may not always be able to see animals in the park, but they are out there! Get ready to explore, observe and discover the variety of signs left by wildlife. Who knows what you might find?|
|Forward!||Did you know that Ontario is home to some of the oldest rocks on Earth? Find the best places to look for rocks in the park and use your Activity Book or Rock On! a poster to record your observations as you explore.|
|Trees are fantastic!||How could we live without them? Spend time exploring the diversity and beauty of the park’s trees. We have the materials for your own magic trick, making rubbings of leaves and bark.|
|Forest wonders||Ancient ferns, mysterious fungi and complex lichens – so many different species inhabit the forest! Participants will have the opportunity to explore and discover what calls the forest floor home.|
|Wow! Wild flowers!||Wildflowers come in many shapes, sizes, colors and smells. Look for them and you might also see insects and birds… or come face to face with an alien invader!|