Purpose & Beliefs
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.
OPA, a non-profit, charitable organization founded in 1936, offers services emphasizing quality and accessible education and professional development, networking, information, communication and advocacy for persons participating in the parks services.
The following basic beliefs are central to OPA:
- We believe that parks, open spaces and natural environments are essential to the health and ecological integrity of our communities.
- We believe that all citizens have the right to enjoy access to a range of outdoor leisure opportunities.
OPA strives to exemplify and be recognized for:
- professional commitment and enthusiasm for the importance of our work
- sincere and unyielding dedication to the environment
- the accessibility of our parks, offices and our profession
- commitment to cooperation, partnerships and strategic alliances, and
- practical, "hands-on" approach
The OPA actively pursues the challenges facing today's professionals. Briefs, resolutions and policies concerning parks and open spaces are prepared for members and for presentation to the Provincial Government. These initiatives inform and assist members and the government in fully understanding and responding to pertinent issues.
The OPA strives to assist municipalities in various aspects of parks operations and development, including smaller communities requiring consultation on Parks management. Long and short-term goals are established to guide and direct the OPA's mandate.
The OPA, with the University of Guelph, developed and introduced the "Ontario Diploma in Horticulture (ODH)" which through a variety of correspondence and extension learning programs provides training opportunities.
The Ontario Parks Association Foundation provides financial assistance through educational bursaries and scholarships to persons interested in Parks, the environment and related studies.
The Association's newsletter, the "Green Sward" is published quarterly, providing members with information on the latest developments in parks and the environment fields across the province. Career opportunities, individual profiles, competitions, and information from the Executive and fellow OPA members and their communities are also included.
The OPA through an EnAbling Change partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship, created the "Playability Tool Kit, Building Accessible Playgrounds". A valuable resource for parks professionals, playspace designers, equipment manufacturers and installers, school councils, parent groups and community organizations.