Forest Canopy Sustainability 

At Niagara Parks, we recognize the vital role that forests play in our ecosystem. We are dedicated to maintaining a healthy and sustainable forest canopy. The Niagara Parks Urban Forestry Management Strategy sets out research-based goals and approaches that will help foster healthier and more resilient urban forests. The Urban Forestry Management Strategy identifies five strategic goals that will guide a decade’s worth of forest stewardship.

Five Goals


1. Maintain and Increase Canopy Cover

Niagara Parks lands currently feature 28% canopy cover, just short of the 30% required to make a forest truly sustainable. Over the next decade, we will plant a minimum of 5,000 trees each year, manage shoreline vegetation and protect woodlots to increase canopy cover to 35% or more.

2. Increase Species and Habitat Biodiversity 

A diverse forest habitat is more resistant to disease, drought and invasive species. By utilizing the 5-10-20 rule, we are working to ensure that no single tree species is more than 5% of our forest canopy, that no single genus is more than 10% and that no single tree family constitutes more than 20% of the canopy.  

3. Mitigate Adverse Impacts  

Identify and address impacts to urban forests, such as invasive species, recreational use and climate change 

4. Increase Awareness and Promote Stewardship   

Niagara Parks can’t protect our forests alone. That’s why a big part of our forestry plan focuses on people with tactics that educate and engage the groups and individuals with the greatest potential to influence forest health. 

5. Improve Data Collection and Monitoring    

We are investing in monitoring the process of our plan by collecting, capturing and analyzing the empirical data we need in order to measure the impact of the plan and adapt its approaches as necessary  

Sustainable Land Management: Case Studies


Invasive Species Management

Niagara Parks staff work on the front lines of the ongoing fight against invasive species. With lands stretching from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario along the Niagara River Corridor, Niagara Parks is often the first Canadian defence against emerging threats. Invasive species – plants, insects and animals – can have significant consequences for everything from wildlife habitat to the economy.

Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program

In 2014, Niagara Parks Legends on the Niagara Golf Complex achieved designation as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses. To reach certification, a course must demonstrate that they are maintaining a high degree of environmental quality in a number of areas. These categories include: Environmental Planning, Wildlife & Habitat Management, Outreach and Education, Chemical Use Reduction and Safety, Water Conservation, and Water Quality Management.


Paradise Grove Forest Management

Over the years, invasive species compromised the ecological integrity of Paradise Grove’s remnant oak savannah and tallgrass prairie. In 2003, Niagara Parks and its partners, Parks Canada, Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority and Niagara Restoration Council began to introduce native plant material such as oak saplings, wildflowers and native grasses as part of ongoing restoration activities.

Each year, Niagara Parks has a goal of planting 5,000 trees to achieve a 35% canopy cover by 2028.