ontario parks association

Protecting Tomorrow Today®

  • Home
  • Friends of OPA


OPA takes great pride in partnering with other organizations to continue to spread awareness and work toward Protecting Tomorrow Today®. This page lists some of the upcoming events or programs these partners are hosting.

Posted on Wednesday May 26, 2021

Media Release

City of Pickering Awarded for Sustainability Efforts

Pickering, ON, May 26, 2021 – The City of Pickering was honoured to be presented with two awards from the Ontario Parks Association (OPA) during last night’s Council Meeting.

Rob Gagen, Supervisor, Parks & Property was recognized with the Parks Champion Award. This award celebrates staff who demonstrated a passion for the environment and/or who made an impact through innovative green strategies and mentorship.

OPA recognized Rob’s accomplishments, including:

  • Implementing solar-powered and LED lights in various community parks 
  • Initiating a Lighting Control System
  • Introducing electric wheelbarrows and battery-powered property maintenance tools such as trimmers, handheld blowers, and a chainsaw

“The Ontario Parks Association supports and celebrates those individuals and organizations that provide leadership and innovation to our ever-changing parks sector,” said Paul Ronan, Executive Director, OPA. “We are delighted to play a role in recognizing the many contributions that Rob Gagen has made, allowing the citizens and staff of the City of Pickering to have a more effective and enjoyable experience. Rob is a shining example of our motto of Protecting Tomorrow Today®.”

The City of Pickering was honoured by the OPA with the 2021 Protecting Tomorrow Today® Community Engagement Award for its efforts in sustainability. This award recognizes a group that raised awareness of parks, open spaces and/or environment through the development and implementation of community engagement activities.

“The Ontario Parks Association and its members would like to congratulate the City of Pickering and its citizens, schools, businesses and volunteers for their remarkable sustainability efforts in ensuring a healthy and engaged community,” said Paul Ronan, Executive Director, OPA. Even in the midst of all the challenges COVID-19 has presented, you have successfully maintained a well-engaged community through the use of strong staff and community leadership. You truly are an example of a vibrant and forward-thinking community who is creating a healthy and sustainable environment in which to live, work and play.”

The City is continuously expanding its initiatives and implementing new ways to engage with the community. OPA recognized meaningful sustainability efforts the City has undertaken, including: 

  • Environmental Schools Grant
  • Virtual and in-person Earth Month activities and Farmers’ Market
  • Park enhancement projects
  • Litter and waste awareness initiatives
  • LEAF Backyard Tree Planting, Pollinator, and Bring Back the Salmon programs

 “I am extremely proud of our hardworking and dedicated staff for garnering these two awards,” said Mayor Dave Ryan. “These meaningful efforts continue to benefit our community, and I am looking forward to all we will achieve together on our journey to becoming a more sustainable Pickering.”

Visit pickering.ca/sustainable to learn more about the City’s sustainable initiatives.


As the gateway to the east GTA, Pickering (population 94,000) is strategically located where Toronto, York and Durham Regions meet. An award-winning municipality, Pickering is slated for significant economic and residential growth; offering an unparalleled quality of life for those who live, work, and play here. Its dynamic City Centre has been designated by the Province of Ontario as both an Urban Growth Centre and Mobility Hub, and continues to evolve as a preferred destination for creative learning, memorable events, and unique experiences at the heart of a vibrant, connected, and engaged community.

Media Contact:

Nicole Hann
Public Affairs & Communications Associate l Office of the CAO
905.420.4660 ext. 2028                                                                                                                 

Canada's Year of the Garden 2022

What is the Year of the Garden 2022?

  • national celebration of our Canadian garden culture
  • An umbrella marketing campaign to promote and amplify what and how members of the Garden Family contribute to the health and quality of life of Canadians and to the sustainability of our communities and Canada.
  • Grow a healthy and sustainable future during the Year of the Garden 2022 and establish a vital legacy for the following years.

Why 2022: Centennial anniversary of the Canadian Nurseries Landscape Association (CNLA) and also the centennial of the Canadian Horticultural Council.

For a more detailed presentation on the Year of the Garden 2022 project we are working on please visit the following link: https://gardenscanada.ca/year-of-the-garden/

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software