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Point Pelee National Park of Canada

2010 Point Pelee National Park of Canada Management Plan

Executive Summary

This management plan for Point Pelee National Park provides renewed direction and enables Parks Canada staff with a framework for decision-making. The framework defines the roadmap for continued fulfillment of the Parks Canada mandate and contributes to current Parks Canada Agency priorities in the face of present issues, challenges and opportunities influencing the integrity of the ecosystems protected in the park, the relevance of the park's visitor experience opportunities and the park's ability to inspire a connection with Canadians and visitors to this irreplaceable natural legacy.

The management plan includes:

  • A vision statement;
  • Five key strategies, which provide strategic direction and set the course for the park over the next fifteen years;
  • Three area management approaches, which provide specific direction for the Mainland – Western Shore, the Mainland – Eastern Shore and Marsh, and Middle Island;
  • An updated park zoning plan;
  • A summary of administration and operations, including the Environmental Stewardship Strategy for the park;
  • A summary of the Strategic Environmental Assessment conducted for the management plan; and,
  • An implementation strategy summarizing the planned actions.

The following is a description of the five key strategies.  The strategies provide concrete direction and set the course for implementation of the management plan, focusing efforts and resources, to achieve the park vision.

Respecting the Seventh Generation:
Honouring First Nations Connections to Point Pelee National Park

This key strategy honours First Nations connections to Point Pelee National Park and commits Parks Canada to work with the Caldwell First Nation and the Walpole Island First Nation to protect and present the rich natural and cultural heritage of the park in an authentic and sustainable manner. Adopting the ‘seven generation' principle encourages consideration of our collective responsibility to the seventh generation when planning for the future of the park.  Trusting and respectful advisory relationships enable collaboration for mutually beneficial opportunities to share knowledge and expertise, recognize First Nations connections to the land and provide opportunities for educational, economic and cultural benefits. Actions that contribute to the success of this strategy include: establishing a First Nations Advisory Committee; First Nations cultural training for Parks Canada staff; collaborating on employment programs for First Nations youth; working closely to ensure First Nations cultural resources, cultural heritage and traditional ecological knowledge are considered in protection and presentation efforts; the park as a venue for First Nations to connect with visitors to raise awareness of their history, culture, language, traditions and their connection to the park; and creation of one or more enterprise initiatives.

Discovering, Enjoying and Connecting with Point Pelee National Park

This strategy is about the park visitor experience opportunities and positions Point Pelee National Park as Canada's southernmost national park, a refuge for nature including many Species at Risk, a place where people can enjoy, discover and relax.  It focuses on investing to better understand the needs and interests of visitors to renew and enhance the visitor experience opportunities built on the park's unique natural and cultural attributes.  The park visitor experience will facilitate meaningful experiences that can lead to the creation of a connection with the park through a rich menu of visitor opportunities for leisure, recreation, discovery and learning. Actions that will contribute to the success of this strategy include using social science information to enable renewal and enhancement of visitor experience opportunities including supporting facilities for current visitor markets and to attract new ones; using the visitor experience cycle to guide planning and development of visitor opportunities; creation of a visitor orientation area near the park entrance; the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the park in 2018 offers an exceptional opportunity to increase the park's visibility, to inspire Canadians and visitors to connect with this national treasure and to mobilize them for its conservation; and, collaborating with others to plan and deliver the menu of visitor experience opportunities and working closely with tourism partners to develop and deliver promotions. 

Restoring the Carolinian Habitat Mosaic

This key strategy focuses on efforts to enhance and maintain the restoration of the Carolinian habitat mosaic – the marsh, savannah, dry forest, swamp forest, dunes and beaches, including Species at Risk - protected in the park.  Improving and maintaining the health of park ecosystems will enable revitalizing of the visitor experience by enhancing opportunities for discovery, enjoyment and personal connection. The conservation effort also provides the foundation for public outreach education and learning programs that bring the national park to Canadians where they are. The focus for the first five years of the plan is on the most threatened and rare habitat on the mainland of the park, the Lake Erie Sand Spit Savannah and on implementation of the Middle Island Conservation Plan.  Actions that contribute to this strategy include: active resource management through fire and mechanical clearing to support the rare savannah habitat; addressing invasive alien plant species; working in collaboration with First Nations, universities, provincial and other federal conservation agencies to further research and monitoring; addressing species that are identified as hyperabundant and a threat to biodiversity and ecosystem integrity; completion of recovery strategies identified for Species at Risk; developing a management strategy for the marsh; providing unique visitor opportunities for learning and ‘citizen science' that foster connection to, inspire support and engage people in protection; delivering a public outreach education program that highlights park research, monitoring and active resource management activities required to maintain ecological integrity; expanding volunteer opportunities; and expanding curriculum-based formal education program.

Six Thousand Years of Stories: Protecting and Presenting Cultural Resources

This strategy focuses on protection of cultural resources, delivery of visitor experience opportunities and public outreach education to reveal the thousands of years of interactions of people with this natural landscape.  Point Pelee has a long and varied history of human interactions that reach back at least 6,000 years - Native peoples, French explorers, the British military, settlers and squatters, fisherman, farmers, hunters, loggers, cottagers, naturalists, conservationists, picnickers, swimmers, sunbathers and more. In collaboration with First Nations, former park residents as well as families and individuals with connections to Point Pelee, careful consideration will be taken to weave their stories and commemorate this history through the park's visitor experience opportunities and public outreach education. Actions that help achieve this strategy are: a cultural resources inventory and cultural resources management strategy; involving all stakeholders in defining the value of cultural resources in the park; and partnering with communities and cultural groups to present events in the park that celebrate cultural heritage such as homecomings, powwows.

Collaborating: Our Key to Success

This strategy builds on all of the key strategies by recognizing that collaborating with others is how Parks Canada will succeed in protecting and presenting Point Pelee National Park. The ecosystems and cultural resources will continue to be protected and connected to the hearts and minds of Canadians.  Visitor experience opportunities and public outreach education developed and delivered with partners, stakeholders and volunteers will increase the relevance of the park and connection with the park.  This will benefit the park as well as the environmental, economic and social health of the region, its communities and its residents. Collaborating and partnering with others to position and promote the unique visitor experience opportunities offered in the park connects the park to regional tourism and community living. Actions that help achieve this strategy include: development of a public education outreach strategy that advances the three elements of the Parks Canada mandate; participating in land use discussions within the Greater Park Ecosystem; collaborating with University of Windsor with their planned field research station; working with others to develop and support a community-based program of stewardship of Species at Risk; being an active partner with the regional tourism sector; expanding the ‘park as a venue' for community events; renewing the park website; developing a strategy for corporate engagement; providing an annual update for the public, stakeholders and partners on the progress of management plan implementation; and creating an annual event to celebrate and recognize partner, stakeholder and citizen contributions.

In an effort to make this information available to you in a timely manner, this plan is currently only available in PDF format. Should you require an alternate format or a hard copy please contact us by e-mailing:

2010 Point Pelee National Park of Canada Management Plan (PDF, 4.60 MB)

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