Darlington Provincial Park

Darlington Provincial Park
IUCN Category II (National Park)
Nearest city Courtice, Ontario
Coordinates 43°52′18″N 78°46′43″W / 43.871744°N 78.778596°W / 43.871744; -78.778596Coordinates: 43°52′18″N 78°46′43″W / 43.871744°N 78.778596°W / 43.871744; -78.778596
Area 208 ha
Governing body Ontario Parks

Darlington Provincial Park is a part of the Ontario Provincial Parks system. It is located just south of Highway 401 near the town of Courtice, between the cities of Bowmanville and Oshawa. A small park, the topography is dominated by gentle hills, a terminal moraine deposited by glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age. The park borders on the northern shore of Lake Ontario also encloses McLaughlin Bay. The Bay is shallow, and at some point in the 1990s was completely closed off from the lake by the action of the waves. The property bordering the park to the west is the home of General Motors Corporation's Canadian headquarters.

Contents

Park wildlife

Darlington Provincial Park is home to several varieties of plants and animals. The flora of the park consists mostly of second-generation regrowth, as the park was reforested in the 1960s after being cleared for farmland. Invasive plant species are a serious problem in the park, especially the aggressive purple loosestrife growing in the marshy areas bordering McLaughlin Bay. Animal species present in the park range from the white-tailed deer to squirrels and other small animals [1]. Other animals such as coyotes and grey wolves have been rumored to be wandering around the park. Fish and amphibian life are also present in the park, especially in and around McLaughlin Bay. The park is known for migrating Monarch Butterflies. It offers an annual Monarch tagging and educational program. [1] [2]

Annual Migration Festival

Near summer’s end, Monarch butterflies begin to migrate south to Mexico. The park is part of a greater Monarch conservation program. It tags Monarch butterflies at its annual migration festival, the Monarchs and Raptors Weekend, held in early September. This event attracts young families who are given an opportunity to help with the tagging.

Loyalist Heritage

This part of Canada was settled by three loyalist families in 1794; Roger Conant, John Burk and John Trull. They moved onto British soil in response to Lord Simcoe's offer of free land to the loyalists. Samuel Burk, a descendant of John Burk, purchased the land which is now the park in 1918 and resided there until his death in 1933. Located on the park property is a cemetery used by the Burk family. [3] [4]

End Notes

  1. ^ Hiking, p. 130
  2. ^ O'Meara, Jennifer (August 19, 2010). "Learning takes flight at Darlington Provincial Park: Monarch butterflies to be tagged and released in popular family program". Clarington This Week/durhamregion.com (Toronto: Metroland). http://www.newsdurhamregion.com/news/article/160271. Retrieved July 2, 2011. 
  3. ^ Hiking, p. 129
  4. ^ Coleman, J. T. (1875). History of the Early Settlement of Bowmanville and Vicinity. Bowmanville, Ontario: West Durham Steam Printing and Publishing House, a Google ebook. p. 3. http://books.google.ca/books?pg=PA3&dq=%22john+burk%22,+%22john+w.+trull%22&ei=KtYQTsv_LuSosAKf65GnCg&ct=result&sqi=2&id=WtUOAAAAYAAJ#v=onepage&q=%22john%20burk%22%2C%20%22john%20w.%20trull%22&f=false. 

Annotated References

  • Hiking in Ontario. Ulysses Travel Guides. Montreal: Hunter Publishing. 2005. pp. 129, 130. ISBN 2-89464-683-6. http://books.google.ca/books?id=X6GIPjho_q0C&pg=PA129#v=onepage&q&f=false.  "Hiking in Ontario gives in-depth coverage of some 400 trails in 65 parks and conservation areas, rated by level of difficulty, plus a listing of more than 160 additional hiking locations. More than 20 maps to keep you on track. All the necessary practical information (directions, trailheads, services) are given, as well as descriptions of each area's natural and cultural features." Google Books. This includes Darlington Provincial Park's four trails.

External links


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