ontario parks association

Protecting Tomorrow Today®

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Calendar of Events

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

    • 29 Sep 2020
    • 8:30 AM (EDT)
    • 30 Sep 2020
    • 4:30 PM (EDT)
    • Indoor: Cowan Sportsplex (895 Ridgewood Drive, Woodstock, ON N4S 7W2) | Outdoor: Shanna Larsen Park (48 Upper Thames, Woodstock, ON N4S 7W2)
    • 14

    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

    Participants are required to have a CSA approved hard hat, safety glasses, closed toe safety shoes/boots, and gloves. It is also recommended that the participant bring with them the following equipment to allow the opportunity for it to be integrated into the course and suit the specific needs/wants and desires of the participants.
    • 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. 

    Please note: A bagged lunch is required at this course.

    Click here to read our Registration Policies

    • 05 Oct 2020
    • 8:00 AM (EDT)
    • 06 Oct 2020
    • 4:30 PM (EDT)
    • City of Cambridge ~ Hespeler Memorial Arena - 640 Ellis Road, Cambridge, ON N3C 4N1
    • 14

    Working safely in a parks environment requires a comprehensive understanding of the tasks at hand and the equipment designed to effectively and efficiently perform the work. Today’s parks and open space practitioners must be able to function in various capacities. 

    This two day course is designed to help enhance the competencies of both new employees and seasoned employees, while setting the right foundation blocks for those being introduced to the world of green space maintenance and management. Participants will be introduced to industry best practices, equipment, health and safety in the workplace and liability of the employee or municipality. Participants will also practice documentation and learn legislative requirements for protecting the municipality.

    This course will cover:

    • Legislation (OH&S, Bill C-45, WHMIS)
    • Personal Safety (potential hazards, PPE)
    • Accident Investigation & Documentation
    • Invasive Species
    • Best Practices
    • Equipment Types & Operation
    • CVOR
    • Fuel Handling

    This course is worth 2 credits towards the Parks Practitioner Designation Program.


    Please ensure CSA approved safety boots are worn to this course.

    Click here to read our Registration Policies

    • 19 Oct 2020
    • 8:00 AM (EDT)
    • 23 Oct 2020
    • 5:00 PM (EDT)
    • Town of Whitby Operations Building - 333 McKinney Drive Whitby, ON L1R 3M2
    • 0
    Join waitlist

    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. 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

    Upon completion of the program and achievement of a passing grade in the written examination(s) the participant will be registered by the Ontario Parks Association as a "Playground Practitioner" and is 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 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

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

    Click here to read our Registration Policies

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