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Looking for a little light reading? OPA will keep you up-to-date with articles and magazines that relate to the parks and recreation industry!

Media Release - March 14, 2018

New Report Creates a Vision and Economic Analysis for Green Infrastructure in Three Ontario Communities

March 14th, 2018 – Toronto. The Ontario Parks Association (OPA) and the Green Infrastructure Foundation (GIF) are pleased to present the results of the Green Infrastructure Engagement, Valuation, and Training Program in Ontario. This program engaged municipal staff and private sector organizations in one-day design charrettes to reimagine what their communities would look like with intensive green infrastructure. The program was made possible by Seed Grant Funding provided by the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The design charrettes were held in Mississauga, Toronto and Richmond Hill, where groups of interdisciplinary stakeholders were brought together to visualize real sites with green infrastructure. Following the charrette, the redesigns were subjected to an aggregate economic analysis. The visuals and narratives created by the participants established a compelling vision for the value of green infrastructure in their communities.

 A rendering of a development incorporating green infrastructure in Mississauga

A rendering of a development incorporating green infrastructure in Mississauga

Click here to read the full Media Release.

Click here to read the Green Infrastructure in Mississauga, Richmond Hill and Toronto - A Visualization and Cost-Benefit Analysis Report

Yardstick Snippets February 2018 – Dog park provisions - just one of the many outputs of the OPA Yardstick project.

We all know that dogs in parks are a common cause of conflict and complaint, but there is a clear need to provide facilities for their use. The City of Lethbridge in Alberta surveyed its parks users in 2017 and identified some interesting outcomes from users. 

Of the 200 survey respondents, 35% reported that they were walking a dog while at the park, making this the most popular activity. 14 respondents made comments about dog related improvements they would like to see made. Most of these related to a need for better enforcement, better signage or a need for more off-leash dog parks in the city.

The Yardstick Parks Benchmarks project tells us that designated off-leash dog areas were provided by 82% of Canadian Yardstick member organisations in 2017. The highest rate of provision is in the City of St Albert in Alberta, where around 4500m2 are provided for every 1000 residents. The highest rate in Ontario is in City of Thunder Bay which provides 500m2 per 1000 residents. The median rate of provision for Ontario members is 240m2 per 1000 residents, half the rate of provision of other Canadian members.

Lighting and water are provided at about a quarter of dog parks in Ontario, whereas 53% of other Canadian members provide water at their dog parks, and 20% provide lighting. 

Do you know what your parks users think of your parks, or what is important to them? Do you know how well your parks perform in relation to other local authorities?

OPA would welcome your participation in Yardstick in 2018. Benchmarking will close at the end of February, but parks user surveys can be carried out all year round. For further information contact the Yardstick Project Manager Chris Rutherford  (chris@yardstickglobal.org) or Shelley at the OPA office (shelley@ontarioparksassociation.ca). For more information, check the Yardstick page of the OPA website or go to www.yardstickglobal.org.

Take a Walk on the Wild Side: Forest Bathing

Slowing down, tuning in. With forest bathing, the slow movement takes to the woods.

March 26, 2018 | Nicola Ross | Good Sport

When Toronto physician Mike Evans released “23½ Hours” on YouTube, the video went viral. The engaging presentation explained that the best thing you can do for your physical and mental health is to walk for 30 minutes a day. The doctor’s list of the benefits derived from this simplest of exercise regimens is comprehensive and impressive. Now studies show you can go one giant stride farther if you take that walk among trees.

Click here to read the full article.

Invasive Plant Species

How well do you know your invasive species? Several organization have come together to create this pocket book to help you identify potentially dangerous invasive species.

To download a copy of this guide, click here.

Grow Me Instead by Ontario Invasive Plant Council

This guide will help you to identify invasive garden plants and provides you with suitable native or non-native, non-invasive alternatives.

To download a copy of this guide, click here.

Native Species

Need some help choosing native species for your garden? Check out this card flip book created by Toronto and Region Conservation Authority listing native plant species for every garden type!

Tor download a copy of this flip book, click here

"Greening Your Grounds" by Toronto and Region Conservation Authority.

TRCA has created a new guide to making the most of the rain that falls on your property! Click here to order your own copy of this amazing resource.

Toronto Star reports, "Trees in urban areas may help reduce risk of asthma attacks" - New UK research suggests that the risk of asthma attacks in polluted urban areas can be reduced if the area also includes plenty of trees.

Click here to read the full article

The Chief Public Health Officer's Report on the state of public health in Canada 2017 - Designing Healthy Living

A message from Canada's Chief Public Health Officer:

Without being aware of it, our neighbourhoods and how they are built influence how healthy we are.

I chose designing healthy living as the topic for my first report as Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer because of the tremendous potential that changing our built environment has for helping Canadians live healthier lives.

Click here to read the full report.

Living Architecture Monitor Magazine

Check out the Vertical Stormwater Management issue of the Living Architecture Monitor magazine.


Download your copy of the new issue of STIHL PROLINE today -  Fall 2017 STIHL PROLINE.

Lyme Disease Resource Kit

The Lyme Disease Stakeholder Resource Group has developed a Lyme disease resource tool kit to help you and your staff stay safe from ticks this summer. 

Download your resource kit by clicking the following links: 8.5" x 11" poster11" x 17" posterfact sheetstory and PowerPoint presentation.

Ontario Parks Association Publications:

OPA has been producing The Green Sward since 1969. Want to re-read your favourite Green Sward articles? Or look at pictures from back in the day? Email OPA and we will send you a PDF!

Members can check out the Green Sward online in the Members Only section. 

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