Ontario parks association

Protecting Tomorrow Today®

Ontario Parks Association (OPA), established in 1936, is a non-profit charitable organization whose focus is on Protecting Tomorrow Today®. Through our work as advocates for our parks and open spaces and the training we provide to parks professionals in Ontario, we are helping to preserve our living green infrastructure assets for future generations. OPA is a proud member of the Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition. 

REGISTRATION IS OPEN!!!


March 1, 2018 is the date of OPA's 62nd Annual Parks Education Forum and registration is now open. This event has completely sold out the last three years so be sure to register early or you may be left standing out in the cold! 


The News Room: What's new in the field of Parks, Recreation and Greenspaces? Check out our News Room to get up to date! (Click image above to read more)


Friends of OPA: We partner with organizations to make sure our members stay informed and get the best possible training! (Click image above to read more)


OPA Shop: Books, apparel and much more! It is all waiting for you in the OPA Shop. (Click image above to read more)


Job Postings: Looking to find your dream job? Need to hire the right person? Visit our Employment Opportunities page to see who is currently hiring, and learn how to advertise with OPA. (Click image above to read more)

Current Job Postings


Upcoming Events: OPA offers training sessions all across Ontario. Check out what sessions and events are coming to a town near you on our Calendar of Events page! (Click image above to read more)

Upcoming events

    • 01 Mar 2018
    • 7:00 AM - 3:00 PM
    • Holiday Inn Burlington Hotel and Conference Centre 3063 South Service Road, Burlington, ON L7N 3E9
    • 9
    Register


    Event Date:       Thursday, March 1, 2018
    Event Location: Holiday Inn Burlington Hotel and Conference Centre - 3063 South Service Road, Burlington, ON L7N 3E9

    Be a part of our Annual Parks Education Forum by participating in our mini trade show. 

    Vendor Table Top Displays

    Twenty 4' tables will be set up around the insider perimeter of our meeting room, creating an intimate networking opportunity for vendors and parks professionals. Time will be allotted prior to the official start of the day and during breaks throughout the day for event attendees to meet and chat with vendors. Showcase your products and services to industry professionals from across Ontario. Create new relationships. Re-connect with existing customers.

    Registration opens to OPA MEMBERS ONLY on December 1st, with potential members being able to register as of January 3rd.

    Table Top Selection

    Please review the current table reservations list below to determine which tables are available, then refer to the master floor plan to select your top 3 preferred table locations - you will be asked for this information when you register. Please note that tables are allocated on a first-come first-served basis, your table number will be confirmed via separate email once your registration has been processed.
    Current table reservations:
    Table 1 - 
    Table 2 - Ure-Tech Surfaces Inc.
    Table 3 - Practica
    Table 4 - 
    Table 5 - 
    Table 6 - 
    Table 7 - ABC Recreation
    Table 8 - 
    Table 9 - 
    Table 10 - 
    Table 11 - Hy-Grade Precast
    Table 12 - Allturf Ltd.
    Table 13 - Henderson Recreation 
    Table 14 - Communities in Bloom
    Table 15 - 
    Table 16 - CNLA
    Table 17 - Turfcare
    Table 18 - 
    Table 19 - Hutcheson Sand & Mixes
    Table 20 - PlayPower Canada

    Registration Fees:
    OPA Members

    Registration opens to members only on December 1st.

    • OPA Member Early Bird Cost: $535 (Register by January 16th)
    • OPA Member Late Bird Cost:  $575

    Potential Members

    Registration opens to potential members January 3rd.

    • Potential Member Early Bird Cost: $575 (Register by January 31st)
    • Potential Member Late bird cost:  $615

    (Please note above price includes buffet breakfast and lunch for one. Meal tickets for additional representatives can be purchased when registering. All company representatives attending must be registered.) 

    Event Details: Click here to meet our presenters and read about the education sessions





    • 01 Mar 2018
    • 7:30 AM - 3:30 PM
    • Holiday Inn, Burlington, ON
    • 5
    Register

    Event Date: Wednesday March 1, 2017

    Event Date: Thursday, March 1, 2018
    Event Location: Holiday Inn Burlington Hotel and Conference Centre, 3063 South Service Road, Burlington, ON L7N 3E9


    Sponsorship Opportunities

    Education Session Sponsor - $400 (4 available) 

    Benefits Include:

    • 1 Complimentary Pass to the Forum and Awards Luncheon 
    • Company Promotional Material in Participant Swag Bag
    • Recognition in Promotional Materials and at Event
    • Company Name in Green Sward
    • Company Name on OPA Website with Link

    Awards Luncheon Sponsors- $300 

    Benefits Include:

    • 1 Complimentary Pass to the Forum and Awards Luncheon 
    • Company Promotional Material in Participant Swag Bag
    • Recognition in Promotional Materials and at Event
    • Company Name in Green Sward
    • Company Name on OPA Website with Link


    Breakfast Sponsors - $200

    Benefits Include:

    • Recognition in Promotional Materials and at Event
    • Company Name in Green Sward
    • Company Name on OPA Website with Link

    Note:  All prices are HST free.


    Event Details: Click here to meet our presenters and read about the education sessions


    Interested in having a table top display at the Education Forum?  Click here to be redirected to the Vendor Table Top Display registration page

     

    • 01 Mar 2018
    • 7:30 AM - 3:30 PM
    • Holiday Inn Burlington Hotel and Conference Centre 3063 South Service Road, Burlington, ON L7N 3E9
    • 107
    Register

    Event Date: Thursday March 1, 2018

    Event Location: Holiday Inn Burlington Hotel and Conference Centre - 3063 South Service Road, Burlington, ON L7N 3E9

    Attendee Registration

    Join us at our 62nd Annual Parks Education Forum for a day of education, recognition, and networking with other parks professionals and industry vendors. 

    Event Details:

    To meet our presenters and read about the education sessions please click here.

    Attendee Cost:
    Early Bird Rates (Register before January 31st)
    OPA Member: $165.00
    Potential Member: $195.00
    Members Save: $30.00

    Late Bird Rates (Register after February 1st)
    OPA Member: $200.00
    Potential Member: $230.00
    Members Save: $30.00



    Luncheon & Awards Ceremony ONLY: $55.00


    Note: The above fees are HST free.



    Vendors:



    • 02 May 2018
    • 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    • Municipality of Brockton ~ Walkerton Community Centre - Auditorium 290 Durham Street West Walkerton, ON N0G 2V0
    • 25
    Register

    BALL DIAMOND MAINTENANCE AND BEST PRACTICES WORKSHOP

    Ball Diamond maintenance is a regular, necessary and costly procedure. Whether using stone dust, a mixture of clay, sand, original materials or the new diamond conditioners, amendments and materials, a similar process must be used. They all require regular grooming and good maintenance practices. This program will illustrate best practices and maintenance standards to your front line staff. A reasonable standard of maintenance is now a necessity because of risk management principles that indicate all diamonds should be maintained to a standard and level of acceptance equivalent to the municipalities around you. In the case of an incident, or an injury, that is what the lawyers are now using as a bench mark for a "standard of care".

    This course will cover:

    • Fundamentals of General Field Maintenance
    • Pitchers Mound Maintenance
    • A Front Line Worker's Role
    • Ball Diamond / Fields Checklist for Risk Management Objectives
    • Striping, Lining and Logos
    • Irrigation and Drainage on Infields
    • Dragging, Infield Grooming Practices and Equipment
    Date: Wednesday May 2, 2018
    Time: 8:00am - 4:00pm

    Location:
    Walkerton Community Centre - Auditorium
    290 Durham Street West
    Walkerton, ON N0G 2V0

    Course Cost:
    OPA Member Price: $247.80
    Potential Member Price: $345.90

    **Lunch is not provided at this session please bring a bagged lunch**

    Register online, payment can be made via cheque (made payable to Ontario Parks Association) or by calling the OPA office with a credit card for processing. 

    • 09 May 2018
    • 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    • Township of Severn - Coldwater Arena and Fairgrounds ~ 11 Michael Anne Drive Coldwater, ON L0K 1E0
    • 27
    Register

    BALL DIAMOND MAINTENANCE AND BEST PRACTICES WORKSHOP

    Ball Diamond maintenance is a regular, necessary and costly procedure. Whether using stone dust, a mixture of clay, sand, original materials or the new diamond conditioners, amendments and materials, a similar process must be used. They all require regular grooming and good maintenance practices. This program will illustrate best practices and maintenance standards to your front line staff. A reasonable standard of maintenance is now a necessity because of risk management principles that indicate all diamonds should be maintained to a standard and level of acceptance equivalent to the municipalities around you. In the case of an incident, or an injury, that is what the lawyers are now using as a bench mark for a "standard of care".

    This course will cover:

    • Fundamentals of General Field Maintenance
    • Pitchers Mound Maintenance
    • A Front Line Worker's Role
    • Ball Diamond / Fields Checklist for Risk Management Objectives
    • Striping, Lining and Logos
    • Irrigation and Drainage on Infields
    • Dragging, Infield Grooming Practices and Equipment

    Date: Wednesday May 9, 2018

    Time: 8:00am - 4:00pm

    Location:

    Coldwater Arena and Fairgrounds (In -Class: Community Hall in the arena)
    Township of Severn
    11 Michael Anne Drive 
    Coldwater, ON L0K 1E0

    Outdoor demonstration to take place at the Fairgrounds next door.

    OPA Member Price: $247.80
    Potential Member Price: $345.90

    **Lunch is not provided at this session please bring a bagged lunch**

    Register online, payment can be made via cheque (made payable to Ontario Parks Association) or by calling the OPA office with a credit card for processing. 

    • 16 May 2018
    • 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    • Municipality of Middlesex Centre ~ Delaware Municipal Park & Community Centre, 2652 Gideon Drive, Delaware, ON N0L 1E0
    • 22
    Register

    BALL DIAMOND MAINTENANCE AND BEST PRACTICES WORKSHOP

    Ball Diamond maintenance is a regular, necessary and costly procedure. Whether using stone dust, a mixture of clay, sand, original materials or the new diamond conditioners, amendments and materials, a similar process must be used. They all require regular grooming and good maintenance practices. This program will illustrate best practices and maintenance standards to your front line staff. A reasonable standard of maintenance is now a necessity because of risk management principles that indicate all diamonds should be maintained to a standard and level of acceptance equivalent to the municipalities around you. In the case of an incident, or an injury, that is what the lawyers are now using as a bench mark for a "standard of care".

    This course will cover:

    • Fundamentals of General Field Maintenance
    • Pitchers Mound Maintenance
    • A Front Line Worker's Role
    • Ball Diamond / Fields Checklist for Risk Management Objectives
    • Striping, Lining and Logos
    • Irrigation and Drainage on Infields
    • Dragging, Infield Grooming Practices and Equipment
    Date: Wednesday May 16, 2018
    Time: 8:00am - 4:00pm

    Location:
    Delaware Municipal Park & Community Centre ~ Meeting Room
    2652 Gideon Drive 
    Delaware, ON N0L 1E0

    Course Cost:
    OPA Member Price: $247.80
    Potential Member Price: $345.90

    **Lunch is not provided at this session please bring a bagged lunch**

    Register online, payment can be made via cheque (made payable to Ontario Parks Association) or by calling the OPA office with a credit card for processing. 

    • 23 May 2018
    • 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    • South Dundas Municipal Centre - 34 Ottawa Street, Morrisburg, ON K0C 1X0
    • 26
    Register

    BALL DIAMOND MAINTENANCE AND BEST PRACTICES WORKSHOP

    Ball Diamond maintenance is a regular, necessary and costly procedure. Whether using stone dust, a mixture of clay, sand, original materials or the new diamond conditioners, amendments and materials, a similar process must be used. They all require regular grooming and good maintenance practices. This program will illustrate best practices and maintenance standards to your front line staff. A reasonable standard of maintenance is now a necessity because of risk management principles that indicate all diamonds should be maintained to a standard and level of acceptance equivalent to the municipalities around you. In the case of an incident, or an injury, that is what the lawyers are now using as a bench mark for a "standard of care".

    This course will cover:

    • Fundamentals of General Field Maintenance
    • Pitchers Mound Maintenance
    • A Front Line Worker's Role
    • Ball Diamond / Fields Checklist for Risk Management Objectives
    • Striping, Lining and Logos
    • Irrigation and Drainage on Infields
    • Dragging, Infield Grooming Practices and Equipment
    Date: May 23, 2018
    Time: 8:00am - 4:00pm

    Location:
    South Dundas Municipal Centre ~ 3rd Floor Council Chambers
    34 Ottawa Street 
    Morrisburg, ON K0C 1X0

    Outdoor location: 
    7 Canada Way, Morrisburg, ON K0C 1X0 (5 minute walk)

    Course Cost:
    OPA Member Price: $247.80
    Potential Member Price: $345.90

    **Lunch is not provided at this session please bring a bagged lunch**

    Register online, payment can be made via cheque (made payable to Ontario Parks Association) or by calling the OPA office with a credit card for processing. 

    • 25 May 2018
    • 11:59 PM
    • OPA Foundation
    Register

    OPA Foundation Scholarship & Bursary Awards Program

    For detailed information on the available awards please visit the OPA Foundation section of our website. To check if you qualify for an OPAF award, please check hereApplications are due by midnight on Friday, May 25.

    All applicants will be evaluated based on the information provided in their application package by the OPA Foundation Award Selection Committee. The Selection Committee is comprised of a quorum of the Ontario Parks Association Foundation Board. All decisions made by the Selection Committee are considered final. Please note that incomplete applications will result in disqualification.

    Scholarship / Bursary Award Application Instructions:

    1. REGISTER ONLINE 

    Your first step is to complete the online registration form. Please note you do not need to apply for a scholarship and a bursary separately - only one application is required.

    Please ensure you complete the section at the bottom of the online registration page providing a budget for one year of study.

    2. ASSEMBLE YOUR DOCUMENTS PACKAGE

    Once the online registration is complete, please assemble and submit the following documents package and send via email (opa@ontarioparksassociation.ca) or snail mail (Ontario Parks Association Foundation, Bursary & Scholarship Committee, c/o Ontario Parks Association, 7856 5th Line South, Milton, ON L9T 2X8). 

    2.1 - PERSONAL LETTER 

    Please prepare a letter using the following bold, italicized statements as mandatory headings in your letter to introduce yourself to the Selection Committee. This information will form the context of your letter and will be evaluated by the Selection Committee.

    Outside Interests Related to Field of Study Provide background information about yourself that may relate to the academic program you have chosen.

    Involvement / Volunteerism in Community and/or Campus Activities – Please provide information about the activities have you been involved in that have helped to improve your community or campus.

    Future Involvement in Your Profession – Describe the direction you hope to pursue in your future career and any professional or academic plans you have to achieve your goals.

    2.2 - REFERENCE LETTERS 

    Please provide two reference letters: one from a professor or school administrator who can verify your academic level, leadership ability and contributions to the school program. A second letter from a non-academic reference (employer/personal reference/volunteer work) that outlines your abilities and personality traits. Please note that letters must be dated within the past two years.

    2.3 - CURRENT RESUME

    Please submit a copy of your current resume.

    2.4 - APPLICATION JUSTIFICATION

    On a separate page entitled “Application Justification” please provide:

    1. A brief description of your personal effort to earn tuition and any financial support you have received.
    2. A brief description of your anticipated costs required by your program of study.
    3. A closing statement as to why you are a deserving student,

    2.5 - TRANSCRIPT

    If second term grades are not finalized please submit grades from first term that are final. Final transcripts can be forwarded after the deadline date to the Selection Committee by no later than Friday, May 25Website transcripts are acceptable, provided that the website transcript is accompanied by letter grade or grade point average conversion to percentage grade.

    Please note that applications and transcripts can be submitted separately. Applications should be submitted as early as possible, with transcripts being sent as soon as they are available, but by May 25th at the latest. 

    Please read our COLLECTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION PRIVACY STATEMENT.pdf.

    Please review the CONSENT TO RELEASE OF INFORMATION FORM.pdf.

    If you have any questions or issues regarding the application process please contact opa@ontarioparksassociation.ca. 

    • 29 May 2018
    • 8:30 AM
    • 30 May 2018
    • 4:30 PM
    • Quinte Sports & Wellness Centre - Minor Sports Meeting Room 265 Cannifton Rd Belleville, ON K8N 4V8
    • 15
    Register

    SPRAY PAD PRACTITIONER TRAINING PROGRAM

    With the increasing demand for spray pads in communities are you prepared to deal with the choices (and possibly trade-offs) that will need to be made when dealing with the installation of this type of equipment? Once through or recirculated, type of features required, type of surface, materials, location, understanding the context of the Health Act, responsibilities of owners, and water treatment and testing, all these options, questions and the need for a basic understanding of operations come to light with the installation of a spray pad.

    With these things in mind, Ontario Parks Association has developed a new spray pad operations course that will help prepare participants to be able to confidently respond to these questions and more. This session is the first of its kind in North America, and promises to be an exciting addition to the training program line up currently offered by OPA. This two day Spray Pad Practitioner program will include both theory and practical, with a visit to a local spray pad being part of the training.

    Following is an overview of the items that will be addressed during this training:

    • Design philosophy
      • Considerations (ie. ages, collaborative play, inclusive play, sensory stimulation, motor skills, etc.)
      • Selecting colours, location, patterns
      • Types of fixtures – fiberglass, stainless, aluminum, fixed and removable
      • Determining shape/size
      • Sequencing and determining flow pattern
      • Surfacing options
    • Considerations for construction
    • Water treatment and testing
    • Flow through, re-circulation and retain and reuse systems
    • Equipment (ie. pumps, strainers, UV)
    • Inspections (daily, pre-opening,  pre-season)
    • Signage
    • Winterizing
    • Ministry Guidelines

    Whether you are an operator, supervisor, manager, or health official, you will want to attend this exciting course to gain a stronger understanding of this increasingly popular equipment. 

    DATE: May 29 & 30, 2018

    TIME: 8:30am - 4:30pm

    LOCATION: 

    Quinte Sports & Wellness Centre - Minor Sports Meeting Room
    265 Cannifton Rd
    Belleville, ON K8N 4V8

    SPRAY PAD PRACTICAL SITE: 
    TBD


    Course Costing:
    OPA Member Price: $403.80 
    Potential Member Price: $633.90

    ***Please wear closed toe shoes to the training session***

    Please note that lunch is NOT provided at this location – please bring a lunch for this session.

    To attend this training please register online. Payment can be made online, via cheque (made payable to Ontario Parks Association) or by calling the OPA office with a credit card for processing (905-864-6182, ext. 6710).


    • 13 Jun 2018
    • 8:30 AM
    • 14 Jun 2018
    • 4:30 PM
    • Colchester Community Centre ~ 100 Jackson Street, Colchester, ON N0R 1G0
    • 17
    Register

    SPRAY PAD PRACTITIONER TRAINING PROGRAM

    With the increasing demand for spray pads in communities are you prepared to deal with the choices (and possibly trade-offs) that will need to be made when dealing with the installation of this type of equipment? Once through or recirculated, type of features required, type of surface, materials, location, understanding the context of the Health Act, responsibilities of owners, and water treatment and testing, all these options, questions and the need for a basic understanding of operations come to light with the installation of a spray pad.

    With these things in mind, Ontario Parks Association has developed a new spray pad operations course that will help prepare participants to be able to confidently respond to these questions and more. This session is the first of its kind in North America, and promises to be an exciting addition to the training program line up currently offered by OPA. This two day Spray Pad Practitioner program will include both theory and practical, with a visit to a local spray pad being part of the training.

    Following is an overview of the items that will be addressed during this training:

    • Design philosophy
      • Considerations (ie. ages, collaborative play, inclusive play, sensory stimulation, motor skills, etc.)
      • Selecting colours, location, patterns
      • Types of fixtures – fiberglass, stainless, aluminum, fixed and removable
      • Determining shape/size
      • Sequencing and determining flow pattern
      • Surfacing options
    • Considerations for construction
    • Water treatment and testing
    • Flow through, re-circulation and retain and reuse systems
    • Equipment (ie. pumps, strainers, UV)
    • Inspections (daily, pre-opening,  pre-season)
    • Signage
    • Winterizing
    • Ministry Guidelines

    Whether you are an operator, supervisor, manager, or health official, you will want to attend this exciting course to gain a stronger understanding of this increasingly popular equipment. 

    DATE: June 13 & 14, 2018

    TIME: 8:30am - 4:30pm

    LOCATION: Town of Essex

    Colchester Community Centre
    100 Jackson Street
    Colchester, ON N0R 1G0

    SPRAY PAD PRACTICAL SITE: 
    Across the street

    Course Costing:
    OPA Member Price: $403.80 
    Potential Member Price: $633.90

    ***Please wear closed toe shoes to the training session***

    Please note that lunch is NOT provided at this location – please bring a lunch for this session.

    To attend this training please register online. Payment can be made online, via cheque (made payable to Ontario Parks Association) or by calling the OPA office with a credit card for processing (905-864-6182, ext. 6710).



7856 5th Line South, Milton, ON L9T 2X8 opa@ontarioparksassociation.ca 
Charitable Tax Number: 127257509RR0001


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