Learn More About the Founation
Learn More About the
Niagara Parks Foundation
A registered charity, the Foundation’s primary purpose is to support and to advance environmental and cultural stewardship initiatives of Niagara Parks.
Environment, heritage and education. The Niagara Parks Foundation contributes to the founding principles of Niagara Parks.
Commitment to Environmental and Cultural Stewardship
Niagara Parks is a board governed operational enterprise of the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. The agency generates revenue from operating guest experiences including attractions, retail shops, restaurants, golf courses, museums, events, as well as transportation and parking services. While these revenues enable Niagara Parks to operate each year and maintain the Parkway, there is a need to source new revenue to advance environmental projects and to preserve heritage features along the Niagara River Corridor for the enjoyment of residents and visitors, today and in the future.
The Niagara River corridor is a globally significant bi-national geographic area, linking Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Besides the majestic and iconic Horseshoe Falls and American Falls, the corridor contains rich ecological areas such as the Niagara Glen (a designated ANSI area), bird migratory areas, grasslands, species at risk, as well as trails including the Bruce Trail and Niagara River Recreation Trail. The Niagara Escarpment that starts at Queenston Heights, is a world biosphere reserve. Niagara Parks’ history includes the creation of the School of Horticulture in 1936. Located at the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens, generations of apprentice-gardeners have learned here and gone on to work around the world. The Botanical Gardens site enchants guests with 40 hectares of beautifully maintained gardens that include perennials, rhododendrons, azaleas, a formal parterre garden, herb and vegetable gardens and world-famous rose garden featuring over 2,400 roses. The site, guided by a new master plan, includes Canada’s largest Butterfly Conservatory, as well as School of Horticulture lecture hall and residence.
The Niagara River corridor, occupied by millennia, first by Indigenous Peoples and later by explorers and today a residential and tourist population, was shaped by the last Ice Age, witnessed key nation building events such as the War of 1812 and Fenian Raids as well as socially significant events including the Underground Railroad and the advent of hydro-electric power generation in Ontario. Today, Niagara Parks maintains the largest single collection of War of 1812 heritage sites and three decommissioned hydro plants. The Parkway also features significant architectural landmarks like Oakes Garden Theatre and Mather’s Arch.