ontario parks association

Protecting Tomorrow Today®

QUALIFYING FOR AN OPA FOUNDATION (OPAF) SCHOLARSHIP OR BURSARY AWARD



The goal of the Ontario Parks Association Foundation (OPAF) is to raise funds to assist deserving students who wish to pursue their education in any phase of public parks work, related horticulture or landscaping, conservation, or environmental resource management.

Up to seven Ontario college or university students who qualify and complete the requirements of application are recognized each year with awards by the OPA Foundation.

Who qualifies for an award?

Application for an OPAF Scholarship or Bursary Award is open to Canadian Citizens or Landed Immigrants who wish to pursue their education in any phase of public parks work, related horticulture or landscaping, conservation, or environmental resource management. Note the Len Stanley King of Kew Scholarship is open to U.S. and Canadian students.)

The following rules govern consideration for applications:

  • Applicants must be enrolled in a recognized Ontario educational institution in a parks, related horticulture or landscaping, conservation, or environmental resource management field. 
  • Applications are only available to students who are in the process of completing their first year of studies in a recognized University or College in Ontario.
  • Awards to successful applicants will be granted with confirmation of enrollment and continuation of study in second year.
  • Bursaries and Scholarships will be granted on merit, which will be evaluated by the Selection Committee on criteria submitted in the application package.
  • Bursaries and Scholarships are limited to one per successful applicant.

Why should you apply?

  1. Less stress! As a successful applicant you will be able to better focus on your studies, with extra money contributing to your educational expenses.
  2. Completing the application will give you experience in competing for funds. 
  3. You only have to complete one application to qualify for both scholarships and bursaries! The Selection Committee will determine which bursary or scholarship is best suited to the most qualified applicant.
  4. You have until the last Friday in May to apply.  Lots of time to compile the necessary information, secure the references and draft a cover letter!
  5. Receiving an award looks good on a resume!
  6. Successful applicants are honoured by the OPA and OPAF and in the Green Sward (the OPA newsletter) – a valuable addition to your portfolio.
  7. Successful applicants receive a one year membership to the OPA, providing the student with networking, educational and career opportunities of a lifetime!

For more information please contact opaf@ontarioparksassociation.ca

Application Deadline:

Application packages must be postmarked prior to midnight on Friday, May 26.

How to Apply

Qualified applicants must register online and then submit the required accompanying documents outlined below to complete their application package. The application documents package must be post marked or emailed prior to midnight Friday, May 26. Documents package should be sent to:

The Ontario Parks Association Foundation
Bursary and Scholarship Committee
c/o Ontario Parks Association
7856 5th Line South
Milton, Ontario, L9T 2X8

or

opa@ontarioparksassociation.ca

All applicants will be evaluated based on the information provided in their application package by the 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. Any questions or issues regarding the application process should be sent to opa@ontarioparksassociation.ca. 

Scholarship / Bursary Award Application Process:

1. REGISTER ONLINE - Register online. Once the online registration is complete, please assemble and submit the following documents package via email or mail (per the mail/email address noted above):

2. PERSONAL LETTER - Please prepare a letter using the following 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.

3. 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.

4. CURRENT RESUME - Please submit a copy of your current resume.

5. ONE YEAR OF STUDY BUDGET - Please complete the section at the bottom of the registration page to complete a budget for “One year of Study”.

6. APPLICATION JUSTIFICATION - On a separate typed page entitled “Application Justification” please provide:

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

7. 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 (see mail/email address above), no later than the bursary closing date. Website 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 no later than the bursary closing date.

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

Available Awards - Click here for a list of the available Ontario Parks Association Foundation Scholarship and Bursary Awards.

Last Year's Recipients - Click here to view the list of last year's Scholarship and Bursary recipients.

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