Government of Canada working with the City of Windsor to explore the potential of a national urban park in Windsor

From: Parks Canada

Collaboration has started on the potential of a national urban park in the Ojibway Prairie Complex

In Canada and around the world, there is growing awareness of the importance of urban parks as essential places for conservation, recreation, learning, and mental and physical wellbeing.

Following an announcement on August 4th by the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, to launch a new program to support the creation of a network of national urban parks, the Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development, joined Drew Dilkens, Mayor of Windsor, in Windsor, Ontario, to announce the signing of another statement of collaboration to explore the potential of a national urban park in the area.

A national urban park in Windsor would be readily accessible to citizens and provide opportunities to connect to, and learn about, local nature and culture. The proposed site for the potential national urban park includes lands within the Ojibway Prairie Complex. Parks Canada and the City of Windsor will also consider the possibilities for including adjacent properties within the boundary for the proposed park.

Protecting and expanding Canadians’ access to nature is a priority for the Government of Canada. The 2021 Budget made a historic investment of $2.3 billion over five years in Canada’s Nature Legacy to address the biodiversity crisis, protect and conserve nature, and create jobs in nature conservation and management. The National Urban Parks Program will contribute to Canada’s commitment to protect biodiversity and conserve 25 percent of land and inland waters and 25 percent of marine and coastal areas by 2025, working toward 30 percent by 2030.

The network of national urban parks will include areas managed under a range of flexible governance models, including federally administered places, third party administered places, and partnership models.

Parks Canada is committed to work closely with Indigenous partners to ensure national urban parks provide space for Indigenous stewardship, promote Indigenous voices and stories, and offer opportunities for connections to lands and waters based on Indigenous knowledge and values.

In addition to the City of Windsor, Parks Canada has signed statements of collaboration with the Meewasin Valley Authority and the municipalities of Winnipeg (MB) and Halifax (NS), and is working with others to identify potential urban park sites at various locations, including the greater Edmonton area (AB), Colwood (BC) and Montreal (QC).

Quotes

“The National Urban Park Program represents the next step for Parks Canada whose history over 110 years has provided Canadians a system of national parks, including Rouge National Urban Park, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas. I’m excited that the Government of Canada is working with the City of Windsor to explore the possibility of a national urban park and ensure all citizens of Windsor have access to green spaces wherever they live, work and play.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
 
“The past year and a half has reminded Canadians how important access to nature is for our mental and physical wellbeing. And Urban parks, like the one Parks Canada and the City of Windsor will be collaborating on, are particularly valuable. Urban parks do so much. They provide health benefits, create jobs, support clean air, increase resilience to climate change and engage the community. This collaboration and the unique site will benefit Windsor and Canada.”
The Honourable Karina Gould
Minister of International Development
 
 “Today’s announcement brings our community one step closer to realizing our dream of an Ojibway National Urban Park.  The preservation of Ojibway unites us – and this day is about a community coming together not only to preserve this rare gift of natural habitat, but it is about working together with our federal government to share the wonder of Ojibway with all Canadians.”
Irek Kusmierczyk
Member of Parliament, Windsor — Tecumseh
 
“Today’s announcement marks the next step in our community’s journey to preserve and expand Ojibway Park for the enjoyment of future generations. Windsor-Essex families already know how unique and special this space is and a national urban park designation will bring about a whole new world of possibility for this west-end gem.”

Drew Dilkens, Mayor of Windsor

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