Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024
How our partners helped us protect our parks in 2019

We are privileged to work with partner organizations who help us keep our parks protected and accessible to the millions of Ontarians who use them each year.

We would now like to look back on 2019 and thank our partners for their contributions and continued support.

It’s also a great opportunity to let you know about the important work they are doing in public and behind the scenes.

Connecting people with parks

Learn to camp

Ontario Parks’ Learn to Camp program launched in 2011. Since then, we’ve been teaching beginners the basics of camping.

Two leaders learning to camp hold the photo frame for a large group photo.  Location: Grundy Lake PP Photo range: Grundy Lake PP

This year, we hosted 3,224 people for an overnight experience that included lighting a campfire, sleeping in a tent, and, of course, making s’mores.

We have been able to offer this program thanks to our friends at Coleman, Bush’s Beans, Qwick Wick Fire Starters, Leclerc, Learn to Fish and Parkbus.

Information sessions on Facebook Live

With the help of SAIL, we hosted three informative livestreams to help you plan the best possible experience at Ontario Parks.

These livestreams included lively Q&A sessions with Ontario park experts and demonstrations of SAIL’s best camping gear. Over 11,000 of you tuned in to listen!

You can watch previous live streams on our Facebook page.

Attract visitors

More sampling

Everyone knows that camping isn’t camping without marshmallows.

That’s why the folks at Leclerc decided to send their traveling food truck on a tour of the provincial park, offering complimentary s’mores made with their iconic Célébration cookies.

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group of people in front of a s'more food truck

More than 12,000 visitors got a free s’more last summer. We’re sure you’ll be making your own in no time.

Free Baked Beans

A hot, tasty meal cooked over a campfire is another key part of camping. And what better dish than a can of baked beans?

That’s why we work with Bush’s Beans all year round to help them introduce themselves to our visitors.

Bush Beans Tin

This year they gave out over 5,000 baked bean samples and 4,000 coupons to Ontario park visitors – a huge success!

Keep visitors safe

FPD Loan Program

We want our campers and hikers to stay safe in and out of the water, and that starts with a PFD (personal flotation device).

The PARKsmart PFD loan program is a water safety program taking place in 68 parks across the province. At any of the participating parks, campers can borrow a PFD for free.

In 2019, we loaned more than 5,700 PFDs, mostly to children ages 4 to 17.

A Learn to Fish employee teaches children how to fish

Thanks to the continued support of Mountain Equipment Co-Op, Ontario Power Generation, BOATsmart, Swim Guide, Salus Marine, Stearns and the Canadian Red Cross, our provincial parks are able to keep our visitors comfortable and safe around the water.

Thanking our students

Ontario Parks Partners Scholarship

One thing is certain: our provincial parks could not function without the hard work of our summer students.

Since 2000, our corporate partners have provided more than $250,000 to our students through the Ontario Parks Partners scholarship. In 2019, 40 students received awards of $500 each.

two people posingOntario Parks Director Jason Travers congratulates scholarship winner Whitney Otis

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Here’s a special thank you to our partners who helped make these awards possible:

Be sure to check out our ceremony recap!

Give back to the parks

Zipcar Parking Pass Program

You may have heard about our partnership with Zipcar in 2019 – specially marked Zipcars came with a free day-use pass to Ontario parks.

Woman putting on hiking boots from the front seat of the car.  Another woman waiting to start the walk.

And, just as amazing, every new Zipcar member in July and August generated a $2 donation to Ontario Parks. Thanks to your generosity, we were able to raise over $11,000 in total.

We use these donations to maintain, manage and protect the parks we all love.

Two women and a trailer at the campsite.

Last year we also had new cause marketing relationships with RV rental company Outdoorsy and with The Trip Shed, an organization that provides tools, knowledge and supplies for premium wilderness experiences.

Thank you all

We sincerely thank all of our partners for the work they have done to help preserve our provincial parks.

If you are interested in partnering with us on a project, please visit our corporate partnerships page at: OntarioParks.com/corporatepartnerships.