Our January monthly theme recognizes people and their contribution to the many successes Parks Canada has enjoyed throughout its history. The Visionaries and Persons Theme shows appreciation to the early thinkers who saw the importance of protecting our country’s natural and cultural beauty; this month is also dedicated to the persons whose attachment to Canada’s unique landscape and culture has ensured that this legacy will be living for generations to come.
Ahead of their time, politicians, environmentalists and nature and culture enthusiasts realized that our country’s unique heritage needed protection in order to give it a secure future. These people knew long before others that responsibility for such treasures had to be taken. Even with mass urbanization still in the future, they saw the benefits of nature on the human body and spirit, so they worked to make sure that these places would always be accessible to Canadians and visitors from abroad. Thanks to such a vision, today we can enjoy the great family of national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas placed under the stewardship of Parks Canada.
Go back in time and learn about the beliefs, dedication and forward-thinking views of great Canadians. Meet:
- internationally renowned J. B. Harkin, Canada’s “Father of national parks” and first commissioner of the Dominion Parks Branch, and have a look right here at what the other leaders of Parks Canada have done for our network of protected places;
R.B. Rogers, who had a strong passion for the Trent-Severn Waterway, one of our heritage canals today;
Joseph-Octave Dion who, in the 1800s, convinced the government to preserve Fort Chambly in Quebec;
- other Canadian visionaries who have changed our country in other areas - Big Bear, Charles G. D. Roberts and Oscar Douglas Skelton, just to name a few.