Another summer season is set to begin, and we are expecting another very busy summer here at the park. Last summer we set record numbers seeing an increase of 60% in day-use visitation. When you visit this summer, be prepared to “pack your patience” and try visiting on a weekday when we are generally less busy.
Office staff have now moved into the new park office, after nearly 4 years in the trailer, everyone is happy to have their own space again. The new office is currently closed to visitors due to the lockdown, but the Main Gate is now open daily.
With the current stay-at-home order, the opening of camping season has been postponed until May 21st (unless there is an extension of the stay-at-home order). The park is open for day-use and Ontario Parks is encouraging people to stay local and only visit provincial parks close to where they live.
As for the Discovery Department, we are planning a similar summer to last year. How exactly things will play out will depend on COVID-19 restrictions. We hope to have the Nature Centre open daily following similar restrictions as last summer (one-way flow, limiting numbers inside). Unfortunately, the Lighthouse Centre will remain closed again this summer. Depending on restrictions we hope to be offering limited Ask the Naturalist programs around the park, and possibly a few evening programs at the Amphitheatre as well.
Hiring is well underway, and there will be a lot of new faces around the park this summer as old staff move on to new opportunities. In Discovery we have Clarissa Duthie returning and she will be filling in as the Children's Programmer as Janet Fenton is filling another role with head office this summer. We will also have a new Nature Centre Coordinator this summer as Robert Ormston has moved on. A few of the Discovery students from last summer are returning to the park and will be working in maintenance and at the park store. So, there will be lots of new faces all around the park, be sure to stop and say hello.
Spring bird migration is underway and soon the woods will be filled with the songs of migrating warblers, thrushes, orioles and more! While Warblers & Whimbrels Weekend will be cancelled again this spring the birds are still out there, so I encourage you to get outside and discover them for yourself.