ontario parks association

Protecting Tomorrow Today®

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Click here to see the full list of courses OPA offers.


For your convenience and to help stretch your budget dollars, OPA will bring any of the courses listed here to your municipality or organization. We encourage you to let us know if you are interested even if you can only send one or two staff. We will combine your training with neighbouring organizations. Not only will this provide valuable training, but also foster and facilitate communication and experience sharing among your local and neighboring organizations. Call today to register and we will assist you through the process. 

Please click here to view OPA’s Registration Policies including:

· Cancellation / Substitution and Transfer Policy

· Privacy Statement

· Waiver / Disclaimer

Upcoming events

    • 02 Oct 2018
    • 31 Dec 2019

    Join the Ontario Parks Association Foundation (OPAF) in growing green professionals by sponsoring one of the Foundation's annual student awards.


    Select the award you wish to sponsor and as an OPA Associate Member award sponsor, your business name will be identified with that award.  Due to the historical background of each award, the OPAF has a commitment to maintain the name of each scholarship and bursary so the sponsored awards would appear as follows: LEN STANLEY – KING OF KEW SCHOLARSHIP: This award has been sponsored by J. DOE TURF SUPPLIES for a 3 year period beginning in 2019. 

    Sponsorship will also be recognized through other promotional methods such as on the OPAF website, in the Green Sward, and at annual events like the OPA Parks Education Forum and the OPAF's Dave Gower Memorial Golf Tournament.

    The cost of sponsorship is the amount of the award times three years - i.e. if you sponsor the Dave Gower OPAF Bursary your commitment would be $2,000 x 3 years for a total commitment of $6,000.


    The OPA Foundation currently offers four bursaries worth $2,000 each and three scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each, they are:

    Dave Gower OPAF Bursary 

    Dave was a great supporter of the OPA throughout his career in the municipal parks 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.

    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.

    Protecting Tomorrow Today® Bursary -  This award has been sponsored by EVERPLAY for a 3 year period beginning in 2019. 

    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. 

    The Beulah & Harry Christian, Margaret & Ernie Seager Bursary

    This award was donated by these two couples who were longtime friends and great supporters of the OPAF. 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.

    Little Tikes Commercial Scholarship -  This award has been sponsored by LITTLE TIKES for a 3 year period beginning in 2019. 

    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 scholarship to a deserving individual that meets the application criteria.

    City of Mississauga Scholarship -  This award has been sponsored by CITY OF MISSISSAUGA for a 3 year period beginning in 2019. 

    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.

    Len Stanley-King of Kew Scholarship

    Len Stanley was one of the founding members of the OPAF and had a long and distinguished career in the City of Toronto parks 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:

    • Pursuing a career in parks design, development, maintenance or administration
    • Exemplifies 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.

    As a sponsor, your company or business will help ensure that all seven awards will be available for presentation to eligible students on an annual basis. Sponsorship is renewable after the original 3 year commitment is completed. Implementation of the program is expected to commence in the spring of 2019.

    Thank you for supporting the OPA Foundation as we continue to provide financial support to our future parks professionals. Together we are growing green professionals!

    • 05 Dec 2019
    • 3:00 PM
    • 31 Dec 2019
    • 11:30 PM
    • Awards to be presented at the 2020 Parks Education Forum

    Recognition and Awards Program
    Nomination Form

    Ontario Parks Association takes great pride in taking time each year to recognize and celebrate the individuals, groups and companies whose work has significantly impacted our parks, the profession, and our environment in a positive way.

    We depend extensively on our members to recommend nominees who are deserving of being recognized and as such, the OPA Awards Committee is seeking your recommendations for one or all of our awards. 

    Do you know an individual, group or company who shows their passion for our parks, open spaces and/or environment in the work that they do? Do you know someone who has worked to raise awareness of our parks, or had a significant impact on the betterment of our parks or the environment? Do you have a staff member or team who has gone above and beyond?

    Show your appreciation for their dedication by nominating them for one of the Ontario Parks Association Protecting Tomorrow Today®Awards. Make sure that others in our industry are aware of and have the opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of those in our communities who are striving to help us meet our mandate of Protecting Tomorrow Today®.

    Award recipients will be honoured at our Annual Parks Education Forum and Awards Luncheon. Every member of OPA is entitled to submit nominations for any one or more of these awards. Deadline for submission of Nomination Forms is December 31st. Nominees will be assessed by a selection committee comprised of members of our Board of Directors.

    Recognition Categories

    The following categories are open to any individual/group:

    Community Engagement – This award recognizes an individual or group who have raised awareness of our parks, open spaces and/or environment in their local municipality through the development and/or implementation of community engagement activities.

    Environmental Impact - Awarded to an individual or organization whose contributions have had a significant impact on the betterment of our parks, the profession, or the environment in Ontario.

    Urban Design - Recognizing architects, landscape architects, urban designers, planners, developers, builders and other individuals responsible for the design of municipal parks, public spaces, streetscapes, and urban intensification projects that have a focus on protecting our environment through the use of sustainable green infrastructure innovations and technologies.

    The following categories are open to OPA members only:

    Parks Champion - Celebrating a staff member or team who have demonstrated a passion for the environment by: 1) going above and beyond - exhibiting a high level of commitment, initiative, cooperation, and dedication in their job responsibilities; or 2) impacting their municipality through new and innovative green strategies and mentorship.

    President’s Award – Recognizing an individual or organization who has made a significant contribution to the Ontario Parks Association over a period of years.

    Lifetime Achievement Award - This citation is the highest honour presented by OPA and is presented to an individual who, over a period of at least 10 years, has made exceptional contributions to the parks and open space industry and to the Association, contributing significantly to the good and welfare of the Association.

    Information required to complete the nomination form:

    • Your name and contact details
    • Nominee's name and email address
    • The applicable recognition category (i.e. Community Engagement, Environmental Impact, Urban Design, Parks Champion, President’s Award, Lifetime Achievement). 
    • Reason for the nomination - You will be asked to list the achievements of the nominee, keeping in mind the award description. You are encouraged to include supporting documents (i.e. photos, newspaper clippings, etc.) when submitting your completed form. In the case of an individual, please provide a brief biography that includes occupation and any pertinent personal data.

    Once you are ready to proceed with your nomination just click the green "Register" button in the column to the left.

    Thank you for helping us celebrate the accomplishments of those who are helping us meet our mandate of Protecting Tomorrow Today®.

    • 01 Jan 2020
    • 31 May 2020
    • 11:59 PM
    • OPA Foundation

    OPA Foundation Scholarship & Bursary Awards Program

    For detailed information on the available awards please visit the OPA Foundation section of our website. Applications are due by midnight on the last Friday of May.

    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:


    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.


    The following documents can be uploaded as part of your registration form, or you can assemble and submit the package via email (opa@ontarioparksassociation.ca) or snail mail (Ontario Parks Association Foundation, Bursary & Scholarship Committee, c/o Ontario Parks Association, 60 Water Street North, Cambridge, ON N1R 3B1). 


    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.


    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.


    Please submit a copy of your current resume.


    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 the last Friday in MayWebsite 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 31st at the latest. 



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

    • 27 Feb 2020
    • 7:00 AM - 3:00 PM
    • Holiday Inn Burlington Hotel and Conference Centre 3063 South Service Road, Burlington, ON L7N 3E9
    • 15


    Event Date: Thursday, February 27, 2020
    Event Location: Holiday Inn Burlington Hotel and Conference Centre - 3063 South Service Road, Burlington, ON L7N 3E9


    OPA Member Fees - Registration opens to members only on December 4th.
    • OPA Member Early Bird Rate: $535 (Register by January 16th)
    • OPA Member Late Bird Rate:  $575

    Potential Member Fees - Registration opens to potential members January 6th.

    • Potential Member Early Bird Rate: $575 (Register by January 31st)
    • Potential Member Late Bird Rate:  $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 in advance.

    Event Schedule and Details (please click link)

    Details: Twenty-two 6' 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.

    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 need this information to register. 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 - Henderson Recreation Equipment Limited
    Table 2 - Openspace Solutions Inc.
    Table 3 -
    Table 4 -
    Table 5 - Practica Ltd.
    Table 6 -
    Table 7 -
    Table 8 - 
    Table 9 - Everplay Installation Inc.
    Table 10 -
    Table 11 -
    Table 12 -
    Table 13 -
    Table 14 - 
    Table 15 - ABC Recreation Ltd.
    Table 16 -
    Table 17 -
    Table 18 -
    Table 19 -
    Table 20 -
    Table 21 - Ure-Tech Surfaces Inc.
    Table 22 - PlayPower LT Canada Inc.

    • 27 Feb 2020
    • 7:30 AM - 3:30 PM
    • Holiday Inn, Burlington, ON
    • 5

    Sponsorship Opportunities

    Date: Thursday, February 27, 2020
    Event Location: Holiday Inn Burlington Hotel and Conference Centre, 3063 South Service Road, Burlington, ON L7N 3E9


    Education Session Sponsor - $400 (4 available)
    • 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
    Lunch Sponsors- $300
    • 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

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

    Interested in having a table top display at the Education Forum?  Click here to be redirected to the Vendor Table Top Display registration page
    • 27 Feb 2020
    • 7:30 AM - 3:30 PM
    • Holiday Inn Burlington Hotel and Conference Centre 3063 South Service Road, Burlington, ON L7N 3E9
    • 89

    Join us at our 64th Annual Parks Education Forum for a day of education, recognition, and networking with other parks professionals and industry vendors. 

    Event Date: February 27th, 2020

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

    Event Schedule and Details: To see the event schedule, meet our presenters and read about the education sessions, please click here.

    Attendee Pricing:

    Early Bird Rates (Register before January 31st)

    OPA Member: $170.00
    Potential Member: $200.00
    Members Save: $30.00

    Late Bird Rates (Register after February 1st)
    OPA Member: $210.00
    Potential Member: $240.00
    Members Save: $30.00

    Interested in have a table top display at our mini trade show? Click here

    Interested in being an event sponsor? Click here

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