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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

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· 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!

    • 23 Sep 2019
    • 8:30 AM
    • 24 Sep 2019
    • 4:30 PM
    • City of Belleville ~ Quinte Sports and Wellness Center - 265 Caniffton Road, Belleville, ON K8N 4V8
    • 0
    Join waitlist

     This two day course is an introduction to understand professional trail development and how it relates to trail maintenance. You will receive instruction on how to observe, detect, document and mitigate potential risk resulting from poor trail design, construction and maintenance. This workshop combines in classroom theory and hands-on experiences. Participants will leave the course with a tool kit on how to create and implement a successful trail maintenance program. This course will cover all types of trails from natural surface single track to 3 metre wide crushed aggregate. 

    This course will cover:

    • Overview of Professional Trail Development
    • The Science and Art of Trail Building
    • Maintenance of Trails
    • Environmental Impacts
    • Liability Issues
    • Handwork and Trail Construction Techniques

    DATE: September 23 & 24, 2019
    TIME: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm both days
    Quinte Sports and Wellness Center ~ Media Training Room (2nd floor)
    265 Cannifton Road
    Belleville, ON K8N 4V8

    36 Gavey Street, Belleville, ON.   
    Google GPS co-ordinates: 44.195712, -77.409649

    Map of In-class location to the outdoor practical site.


    OPA Member: $403.80

    Potential Member: $633.90

    Participants are required to have a CSA approved hard hat, safety glasses, closed toe safety shoes/boots, and gloves. 

    It is recommended that the participant bring with them the following equipment: 
    • pin flags
    • clinometer 
    • pulaski
    • mcleod rake
    And/or any other trail building tools/equipment the organization, government agency or participant intends to use for trail design, building and maintenance. The idea behind having your own tools/equipment onsite is to allow the opportunity for it to be integrated into the course and suit the specific needs/wants and desires of the participants.

    Please note: A bagged lunch is required at this course

    This course is an Ontario Trails Council approved training program.

    • 24 Sep 2019
    • 8:30 AM
    • 25 Sep 2019
    • 4:30 PM
    • Town of Whitby ~ Elexicon - 100 Taunton Road East Whitby, ON L1R 3L5
    • 5


    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: September 24 & 25, 2019

    TIME: 8:30am - 4:30pm

    LOCATION: Town of Whitby
    Elexicon (formally Whitby Hydro) 
    100 Taunton Road East
    Whitby, ON L1R 3L5 

    SPRAY PAD PRACTICAL SITE:  McKinney Park (aka Folkstone Park) ~ 600 metres to the North of the classroom ~ Map from class room to park (10 minute walk)

    Parking is available at the Town of Whitby Employee parking lot across the street 333 McKinney Drive ~ Map from Employee parking lot to Elexion Building 

    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, drinks and snacks for this session.

    To attend this training please register online. Payment can be made online once an invoice has been sent from the office, 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).

    • 08 Oct 2019
    • 7:30 AM - 3:30 PM
    • East Gwillimbury Sports Complex - 1914B Mt. Albert Road, Sharon, ON L0G 1V0
    • 3


    The Ministry of Labour requires that all parks professionals who use a chainsaw on the job must be trained in the safe operation of a chainsaw. This one day course is designed for those who will use a chainsaw for limbing, bucking and felling small trees (smaller than 5” dbh) and limbs that are on the ground. Course participants will be educated about chainsaw safety, maintenance, use and handling.

    The course will cover:  
    • Chainsaw safety
    • Starting and stopping techniques
    • Chainsaw maintenance
    • PPE
    • Limbing and bucking
    • Technical cutting & small tree felling

    Please note: chainsaws will be supplied for use for this training session

    DATE: Tuesday October 8, 2019

    TIME: 7:30am to 3:30pm

    East Gwillimbury Sports Complex ~ Ontario Loft
    1914B Mt. Albert Road
    Sharon, ON L0G 1V0

    Outdoor Location: Anchor Park



    • Class E Type 2 helmet (within 5 years old)
    • Hearing protection (exceeds 85 decimals)
    • Gloves (comfortable fitting leather or composite)
    • Eye protection
    • Safety Boots (Green Patch Safety approved with a minimum height of 7 eyelets)
    • Full leg chaps or Chainsaw Pants with UL label that is visible (3000 feet per minute (FPM) or greater)

    Lunch is NOT provided at this location – please bring a bagged lunch for this day.


    Register online and we will send an invoice to you, payment can be made via credit card once the invoice has been sent to your email, a cheque (made payable to Ontario Parks Association) or by calling the OPA office with a credit card for processing. (905-864-6182, ext. 6710 or 6720).

    • 28 Oct 2019
    • 8:00 AM
    • 01 Nov 2019
    • 5:00 PM
    • Town of East Gwillimbury ~ East Gwillimbury Sports Complex - 1914B Mt Albert Rd, Sharon, ON L0G 1V0
    • 6


    The Ontario Parks Association (OPA) has developed the Registered Playground Practitioner Program to meet the needs of those involved and responsible for the hands-on inspections and maintenance of public playspaces and playground facilities.


    Safe Play - A High Priority

    The Ontario Parks Association places a high priority and commitment on the provision of safe play structures in our public spaces. We want to help ensure that they are safe and accessible. OPA also emphasizes the strong need to educate caregivers, supervisors and others about the benefits of positive and safe play experiences for our children.


    What You Will Learn

    Attending this course will teach you about significantly lowering the risk of injuries in play areas by providing a safe outdoor learning experience for all. This course uses the CAN/CSA-Z614-14, Children's Playspaces and Equipment, as a base document for the three independent sections of the course.


    Intensive 4 1/2-Day Program

    The Ontario Parks Association instructors include experts from the industry including an architect, liability expert, lawyer, representative of the CSA Standards Association and others to give in-depth training on the following topics and includes an on-site demonstration at a local playground structure:

    Playspace Strategies Playspace Evaluation Playspace Management
    space requirements playvalue and hazard identification liability and insurance
    playability inspection and maintenance due diligence
    access/egress requirements surfacing evaluation contractual obligations
    playspace design record keeping risk management
    age appropriate issues CSA overview owner/operator responsibilities
    playspace materials corrective actions employee/manager responsibilities
    playspace construction   playvalue and practical choices

    Principal Instructor Peter Kells

    Industrial Designer involved with the design of playground and recreation equipment since 1984. Involved with the writing of both the CSA playground standard and other international Standards. Executive member of IPA Canada (International Association for the Child's Right to Play). Playground Inspector since 2000.

    Upon completion of the program and achievement of a passing grade in the written examinations the participant will be registered by the Ontario Parks Association as a Playground Practitioner and thereby qualified to inspect playgrounds. 

    The OPA Registered Playground Practitioner Program is recognized as a playground safety course for inspectors by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services.

    Attendees are required to purchase a copy of the new CSA Z614-14 Standard. The test at the end of the course is open book so attendees will need their own copy (sharing books is not permitted). Attendees can choose to either use the PDF version and bring it on their tablet or other electronic device (so long as they can turn off the use of internet / text messaging for the test as any use of outside sources is considered cheating and will not receive a passing grade) or the hard copy of the book. Books can be purchased at the CSA Online Shop 

    (https://store.csagroup.org/ccrz__ProductDetails?viewState=DetailView&cartID=&portalUser=&store=&cclcl=en_US&sku=CAN%2FCSA-Z614-14 )



    October 28th - November 1st, 2019 (Please note the Thursday of this training falls on Halloween) 

    Monday - Thursday 8:00am to 5:00pm
    Friday 8:00am - 3:00pm


    East Gwillimbury Sports Complex ~ Ontario Loft
    1914B Mt. Albert Road 
    Sharon, ON L0G 1V0

    Practical location is within a 5 minute walk

    The course will start promptly at 8:00am each day.


    OPA Members: $1,268.00

    Non-Members: $1,498.00

    PLEASE NOTE: meals are not provided at this training session. Attendees will be required to bring their own lunch, coffee and snacks. 

    • 18 Nov 2019
    • 8:00 AM
    • 19 Nov 2019
    • 4:00 PM
    • City of Richmond Hill Operations Shop ~ 1200 Elgin Mills Road East, Richmond Hill, ON L4S 1M4
    • 0
    Join waitlist


    The Department of Labour requires that all Parks Professionals who use chainsaws on the job be trained in their safe operation.


    This two (2) day seminar helps satisfy these requirements.


    The course will cover:

    • Safety Regulations and PPE
    • Identify and inspect all chainsaw safety components
    • Inspection and adjustment of a chainsaw
    • Starting and stopping techniques
    • Safe handling of a chainsaw
    • Woodlot assessment and hazards
    • Felling techniques for trees greater then 5" dbh
    • Bucking and Limbing
    • Pole saw and cutting attachments
    • Competence test



    • Class E Type 2 helmet (within 5 years old)
    • Hearing protection (exceeds 85 decimals)
    • Gloves (comfortable fitting leather or composite)
    • Eye protection
    • Safety Boots (Green Patch Safety approved with a minimum height of 7 eyelets)
    • Full leg chaps or Chainsaw Pants with UL label that is visible (3000 feet per minute (FPM) or greater)


    November 18 & 19, 2019


    8:00am to 4:00pm

    In-Class Location:

    City of Richmond Hill Operations Shop ~ Fire Training Room 1st Floor
    1200 Elgin Mills Road East
    Richmond Hill, ON L4S 1M4

    Outdoor Location: Upper Mill Pond Park ( 13 mins away - See map below) 


    Participants can park their vehicles and access the park from Willett Crescent – there is also parking on Theobald’s Circle just to the north. 


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