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Protecting Tomorrow Today®

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OPAF has established a fund to provide financial support to our future professionals through bursaries and scholarships for educational purposes.

Each year a total of up to four bursaries of $2,000 each and three scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each are awarded to qualified students who meet the requirements of application. Applicants are students studying in parks, forestry, horticulture, landscaping, conservation, or an environmental resource management field, whose goals are aligned with those of the Foundation and the Ontario Parks Association, where the:

“Ontario Parks Association (OPA) is committed to civic beautification, the advancement, protection and conservation of parks, open space and the environment as we practice 'Protecting Tomorrow Today' in the province of Ontario.”

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 of 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: 

2019 Award Recipients

Our congratulations go out to:

  • Dave Gower Bursary - Prerna Chopra, Algonquin College, Horticulture Industries Program
  • The Beulah and Harry Christian/Margaret and Ernie Seager Bursary - Katie Mcfee, Seneca College, Environmental Landscape Management
  • Joyce Anderson Bursary - Emiley Switzer, University of Toronto, Landscape Architecture
  • Protecting Tomorrow Today┬« Bursary - Mathew Salton, Georgian Lakehead College/University, Environmental Sustainable and Ecosystem Management
Available Awards

The OPA Foundation has made available a total of four bursaries worth $2,000 each and three scholarship awards in the amount of $1,000 each.  Any bursary or scholarship awarded by The Ontario Parks Association Foundation is to be used towards:

  • Payment of tuition fees

  • The purchase of course materials (academic books and supplies)

  • Residency

  • Other associated educational expenses

Len Stanley - King of Kew Scholarship

Len Stanley was one of the founding members of the OPAF and had a long distinguished career in the City of Toronto park system. He became known as the "King of Kew Gardens" by his fellow colleagues after becoming the superintendent of this Toronto park, and for his ongoing leadership capacity in the OPA. Awarded to a deserving student whose home address is in one of the municipalities that make up the new amalgamated City of Toronto and meets the following criteria:

  • Will pursue a career in parks design, development, maintenance or administration

  • Exemplify the joy of life and concerns for one's fellow citizens

  • Has a positive social outlook

  • Possesses a genuine desire to preserve and protect the natural elements of their community

  • Is a successful first year student in a college or university institution in Canada or the United States.

This award has been sponsored for 2019-2021 by: CANADIAN PLAYGROUND ADVISORY

Protecting Tomorrow Today Bursary

This award will be presented to a student registered in the first year of their post-secondary program who has demonstrated exceptional involvement and commitment towards environmental protection and conservation. Students applying for this award should provide a detailed outline of related activities they have been involved in that have benefited their community, school or some other organization. Areas of activity can be related to conservation management, public park improvement, landscape design and or construction or some other form of environmental protection. The OPAF Awards Committee reserves the right to withhold the award in any given year if applicants do not fulfill selection requirements. Scholastic standing is not a criteria for selection.

This award has been sponsored for 2019-2021 by: EVERPLAY

Little Tikes Commercial Scholarship

This  scholarship was named for the above company after their generous donation of a play structure, which was auctioned off to Ontario Parks Departments. The winning bid provided sufficient funds to create this award. The Selection Committee will award this bursary to a deserving individual that meets the application criteria.

This award has been sponsored by: PlayPower Lt.

City of Mississauga Scholarship

The City of Mississauga made this award possible because of the outstanding fund raising efforts by their Community Services Department staff. As hosts for the annual OPAF Golf Tournament in 2003 they raised more money for OPAF than any other single event in the foundation history to date. This award will be presented to an individual that the Selection Committee feels is most deserving of this scholarship.

This award has been sponsored for 2020-2022 by: STIHL Canada

Joyce Anderson Bursary

This award was established through the generous donation made by Frank Anderson as a memorial to his loving wife Joyce. Frank was one of the founding members of the OPAF and served the OPA in many capacities throughout his distinguished career in municipal park services. The selection committee will award this bursary to a deserving student based on their academic performance and financial need.

The Beulah & Harry Christian, Margaret & Ernie Seager Bursary

These two couples, who were longtime friends and great supporters of the OPAF, donated this award. Both Harry and Ernie are former Presidents of the OPA, and were awarded lifetime memberships for their dedication and many years of service to the advancement of municipal and regional park systems in Ontario. Awarded to a qualified individual based on marks, but most importantly, need and effort.

Dave Gower OPAF Bursary

Dave was a great supporter of the OPA throughout his career in the municipal park field. He was also a former President of the Association and a great advocate for the OPAF. This award was named in his honour and will be given to an individual who the Selection Committee feels is the most deserving of this bursary.

Qualifying for Awards

OPAF Scholarship & Bursary Awards are open to students who are:

  • Canadian Citizens or Landed Immigrants. (For the Len Stanley King of Kew Scholarship only - U.S. and Canadian students are eligible.)
  • Enrolled at a recognized Ontario educational institution in a multi-year college or university program at the undergraduate or graduate level.
  • Pursuing studies in a program that has a focus on parks, horticulture, landscaping, conservation, or environmental resource management.
Please note: Awards to successful applicants will be granted after confirmation of enrollment and continuation of study in their chosen program has been provided. Awards are limited to one per applicant and will be granted on merit, which will be evaluated by the Selection Committee on criteria submitted in the application package.

How to Apply:

Qualified applicants must register online and then submit the required accompanying documents outlined on the registration page to complete their application package. The application documents package must be post marked or emailed prior to midnight the last Friday of May.

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. 

Scholarship and Bursary Application

  • Not accepting applications at this time.

Looking for a College or University with parks, horticulture, environmental or other related programs? Click here for a list of Colleges & Universities in Ontario!

Want to help OPAF support students in parks, horticulture, environmental or other related programs? Consider sponsoring an award! Fill out the Sponsorship Application to sponsor an award for 3 years.

Award Sponsorship Application

  • Sorry, we are not accepting sponsor applications at this time.
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