The H2O Highlands to Oceans Adventure Race: an amazing collaboration between Parks Canada and the Chignecto Ski Club© Parks Canada
All across the country, Parks Canada joins forces with partners and supporters to create opportunities for Canadians and visitors. Here are only a few examples of the great success stories we share with some of them:
Brewster Travel Canada
Brewster Travel Canada, an organization committed to connecting travelers to authentic Canadian experiences has been an important partner for Parks Canada. They have provided prizes for the Canadian Heritage’s Canada Day Poster Challenge contest and the Ultimate Family Vacation contest. It’s a win-win-win relationship for Parks Canada, Brewster Travel Canada, and Canadians alike, and provides exceptional visitor experiences.
VIA Rail Canada
© VIA Rail
Parks Canada has partnered with VIA Rail on a number of different initiatives including The Ocean Route Project. This enhanced travel experience, which runs from Montreal to Halifax, allows travellers to participate in Parks Canada interpretive sessions while riding on board. Last year just under 4,000 train travellers participated in the program and preliminary evaluations indicate that travellers want to hear more of Parks Canada stories in the future. The interpretive sessions on board provided a unique opportunity to engage with Canadian travellers to foster an understanding and appreciation of Parks Canada in the Atlantic region.
To celebrate the Partners and Supporters Theme Month, Parks Canada and VIA Rail have joined forces again to offer the Centennial Train, a special centennial package that will depart from Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Vancouver between November 1 and 6. Once again, Parks Canada interpreters will be onboard to share stories about some of Canada’s most beautiful and meaningful places.
Kodiak Group and Point Pelee National Park
Seven employees from Kodiak Group drove down to Point Pelee from Cambridge, Ontario and participated in a three hour planting session on one of the hottest days of the year and didn't complain a bit. This group contributed to Point Pelee's Habitat Restoration Project by planting native grasses and flowers that provide food and shelter for many of the birds and butterflies in the park.
The W. Garfield Weston Foundation
450 grade five students from urban, local, rural and First Nations schools visited Waterton Lakes National Park by participating in The Ecosystem Investigators Camp, for an overnight outdoor education opportunity to enjoy nature. This initiative was a huge success and was made possible through the joint efforts of Parks Canada and the Weston Foundation.
Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC)
© Parks Canada
MEC encourages Canadians of all ages to experience the outdoors and have a connection to nature. With over 3.3 million members, it is a leading Canadian retail co-operative. As Parks Canada celebrated its first 100 years, a joint Parks Canada and Mountain Equipment Co-op “Learn to Camp“ program was created to instill knowledge and confidence in a new generation of Canadians to experience camping, while connecting to the beauty of Parks Canada places. Learn more at Learn to Camp.
Hudson Bay Project
Wapusk National Park is the site of one of the longest and most noteworthy scientific research partner collaborations in Parks Canada. With key partners from the University of Toronto, Utah State University and City University of New York, the Hudson Bay Project (originally known as the La Pérouse Bay Project) was established in 1968 as a field centre for research on the biology and genetics of the lesser snow goose. Over the years, scientists from Canada and the US have focused their research on bird species in the area and on polar bears and arctic foxes and their predation of snow geese and other species.
Funded by agencies from both sides of the border, the Hudson Bay Project has allowed students from across Canada and the U.S. to participate and produce hundreds of papers, books and chapters and more than 70 undergraduate and graduate theses.
Variety Heritage Adventure Park
© Parks Canada
In 2007, the heritage playground at The Forks National Historic Site had come to the end of its lifespan. Parks Canada wanted to build a new playground but did not have the funds. Through existing contacts in the private sector, Parks Canada was introduced to Variety, the Children’s Charity of Manitoba, who was looking to build a free-of-charge play feature for children.
Currently under construction, the Variety Heritage Adventure Park (VHAP) is scheduled to open in the summer of 2012. Truly unique, the VHAP will be a year-round, fully-accessible, interactive and sustainable heritage adventure park that will engage children, families, caregivers and educational and play groups of all abilities. The combination of heritage messaging and accessibility means the park will support the mandates of both Parks Canada and Variety.
This collaboration, with Variety as the fundraiser, enables Parks Canada to achieve a project that would otherwise be beyond the Agency’s financial capacity to design and build. Variety also supports the park by garnering in-kind services, products, etc. from its extensive community network of supporters.
The Great Klondike Camp Out
© Parks Canada
Last June, something unusual appeared at the S.S. Klondike National Historic Site: people camping in tents! Parks Canada partnered with local branches of the Girl Guides of Canada and Canadian Tire for a variety of camping equipment and prizing. In addition, Yukon Parks donated firewood and one of their rangers gave a very informative presentation on camping opportunities. It wasn't quite like camping in a park… Whitehorse never truly sleeps in summer, just as it never truly gets dark. This was yet another example of how Parks Canada contributes to enhancing and presenting a variety of learning experiences to all.
Glacier 125 Adventure Stewardship Program (GASP)
© Parks Canada
The Glacier 125 Adventure Stewardship Program (GASP) is a new program built on a partnering relationship between youth, Revelstoke Secondary School, Friends of Mount Revelstoke and Glacier, Community Connections and Parks Canada. GASP provides learning activities to youth, based on their interests. In return, participants are assigned to a stewardship activity in our National Parks or Community.
From all of those involved, the GASP launch was a resounding success---thanks to the enthusiasm of 16 high school students, 5 facilitators, and 4 experts that shared time together at Wheeler Hut in Rogers Pass for three days in September. The weekend was a combination of photography, music and back country skills, and lots of team building games. A special thanks to volunteers from photographers, musicians and guides who shared their expertise and, of course, to all our partners involved.
Coastal Trails Connections Association
© Communications Nova Scotia / Len Wagg
Over the last decade the Coastal Trails Connections Association has supported the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site with trail planning and development. Their major achievement is the Louisbourg Lighthouse Trail, a scenic, multi-use coastal trail enjoyed by a growing number of visitors to Cape Breton as well as local residents. The association is a not-for-profit group of volunteers that have been actively involved in fund raising for the multi-year project, overseeing construction since 2005. Officially open to the public in 2010, the trail was extended this year. The group is actively involved in ongoing maintenance work, and is developing way-finding and interpretive signage to enhance the trail experience.
Grande Yellowhead Public School Division
© Parks Canada
The Grande Yellowhead Public School Division (GYPSD) has been an amazing partner for Jasper National Park for over 3 years. Ever since the park began morphing an old dude ranch and training centre within the park into the Palisades Stewardship Education Centre, the GYPSD has worked with us, offering assistance and advice every step of the way. The foresight and innovation shown by GYPSD administrators has helped make the Palisades a leading edge environmental educational facility within Canada.
Foothills Research Institute
The Foothill Research Institute works with Parks Canada on grizzly bear research © Foothills Research Institute
The Foothills Research Institute (FRI), and its predecessor the Foothills Model Forest, have conducted applied research on the cultural, ecological, economic and social values of Alberta’s forested landscape since 1992. Over the years, FRI and Jasper National Park have worked collaboratively on such projects as the grizzly bear research, natural disturbance effects, the Yellowhead Ecosystem Land Use Planning, FireSmart and Geographical Information Services. In addition, Parks Canada staff sit on several FRI management and steering committees to provide input and project oversight. The collaboration between the two agencies has been extremely valuable for both organizations.
© Friends of Jasper National Park
The Friends of Jasper National Park
It would be fair to say that the Friends have participated in every significant event in Jasper National Park over the past quarter century. From annual Parks Day celebrations, to the commemoration of the Jasper Heritage Railway, to the raising of a new totem pole, board members, volunteers and staff work have been there ensuring that park visitors come away with a deeper, enriched appreciation of Jasper National Park and all of Canada's protected areas. For over 25 years the 'Friends' have been friends indeed.
Fundy H2O Highlands to Ocean Adventure Race Doubles its Participation in 2nd Year!
The Fundy Highlands-2-Oceans (H2O) Adventure Race is made possible each year through a fantastic collaboration between the Chignecto Ski Club and Fundy National Park. This year, over 100 participants swam, ran and biked across the rugged landscape, doubling our registration from the first year, in what is being touted as the premier triathlon event of the season and the most challenging race in Atlantic Canada. Participants commented on the amazing scenery of the park and of course how challenging the race was. Others raved about the lobster banquet dinner after the race, organized with volunteer Chef Marc Casey from the Tides Restaurant (Alma, NB). Support from Triathlon New Brunswick along with 50 volunteers and a host of generous sponsors ensure that this race will continue to grow and remain a popular event on the Atlantic Canada triathlon event calendar.
“Day in The Life of Parks Canada“ Intrigues Pedestrians
The exhibit is on display on the Plaza Bridge in Confederation Square, one of the Capital’s busiest pedestrian corridors© Parks Canada
Parks Canada, in collaboration with the National Capital Commission, unveiled a new exhibit in the heart of downtown Ottawa to celebrate Parks Canada's 100 years of service to Canadians. Comprised of 24 images depicting Parks Canada’s special places, the photo exhibit features at least one image from each province or territory and represents national parks, national historic sites, national marine conservation areas, UNESCO sites and species at risk. Arranged according to the 24-hour clock, this ‘day in the life of Parks Canada’ spans the country and the century, and offers glimpses to both residents and visitors of the natural and cultural treasures protected by Parks Canada.
Parks Canada Pass Helps New Citizens Experience Nature and History
© Parks Canada
Making a happy occasion even better, Parks Canada announced at a citizenship ceremony during National Citizenship Week that it had become the first national partner of the Cultural Access Pass program operated by the Institute for Canadian Citizenship.
The Pass gives new Canadian citizens the opportunity to strengthen their connection to Canada by providing complimentary admission for one year to hundreds of cultural attractions. It now includes all of Canada's national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas across the country.
A Team Effort at Motherwell Homestead National Historic Site
© Parks Canada
Every year, Motherwell Homestead National Historic Site hosts three main special events to bring history to life: Equine Day, Binding and Stooking Day, and Threshing Day.
These events involve working with livestock by “teamsters“, highly skilled horse handlers who volunteer to work teams of horses. These teamsters are often older gentlemen, who farmed with horses in their youth and still continue to use horses on their farms today. Other volunteers also take on the role of farmhands to help out with various tasks. With fewer organizations recreating prairie settlement farming activities today, these teams keep skills alive and pass on the knowledge and history of practices to younger generations.
The teamsters and farmhands support Parks Canada in its efforts to create memorable and authentic experiences for visitors. This support is crucial to the success of these events.