ontario parks association

Protecting Tomorrow Today®


  • 09 Dec 2019 9:31 AM | Keely Powley (Administrator)

    Did you know new and young workers are 4x more likely to get injured within their first month on the job than any other time? This is because they are not properly trained, unaware of the hazards, afraid to ask questions and/or unsure of what to expect.

    So what are your rights as a worker? And who is required to make sure these rights are respected?

    Being fluent in in the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OH&S) will help protect and empower you in the workplace, whether you are a brand new staff, or a seasoned supervisor.

    As a worker, you have three basic rights according to the OH&S Act. You have:

    • The right to refuse unsafe work
    • The right to participate in health and safety activities
    • The right to be informed of dangerous aspects of your job

    The responsibility to ensure these rights are met falls on the manager or supervisor. It is also the responsibility of the manager or supervisor to ensure workers have the correct PPE, and training to do their job.

    OPA training sessions are instructed by industry experts, all across Ontario. Through a combination of in-class theory and hands-on experience, attendees leave confident in their new skills, and ready to take on additional responsibilities in their workplace. We are always working to develop new courses based on feedback, and to continue to meet the needs of our members. Current training session include:

    • *NEW* Ball Field Maintenance Practical Clinic

    • Ball Diamond Maintenance Workshop

    • Basic Chipper Handling Workshop

    • Book 7 Workshop

    • Bridge Inspection Workshop

    • Chainsaw Safety (One and Two Day Training)

    • Irrigation Technician Workshop

    • *NEW* Invasive Species Workshop

    • *NEW* Parks Operations and Maintenance

    • Registered Playground Practitioner 

    • Seasonal Equipment Training

    • Spray Pad Practitioner

    • Trails Specialist Workshop

    • Train the Trainer Workshop

    If you have already taken several of these training sessions, you may qualify for our Intermediate and Advanced Parks Practitioner Designation! We believe parks employees are a wealth of experience and knowledge, and we want to help recognize that. Applying for the Intermediate and Advanced designations will assist members in planning their professional development goals, and give them confidence in the knowledge they have in their field. This program will also help employers confidently choose employees, knowing they have the skills required to competently do the job.

    Visit our Education page to learn more about these programs. Have more questions about OH&S Act? Check out this Fact Sheet or consider taking our Parks Operations and Maintenance course.


    Have a blog topic suggestion? Email us at opa@ontarioparksassociation.ca

  • 02 Dec 2019 1:01 PM | Keely Powley (Administrator)

    Do you love spending time in parks, open spaces, and nature? Do you work in the parks and recreation industry? You have definitely come to the right place then!  

    We are Ontario Parks Association (OPA). 

    Our non-profit charitable organization was founded in 1936. We focus on Protecting Tomorrow Today® through three methods.

    Educate: We believe continued professional development is important to maintaining engaging parks and open spaces for our communities. We currently offer 17 hands-on training sessions on a variety of topics relevant to parks and open space professionals, including Chainsaw Safety, Irrigation Training, Ball Diamond Maintenance, Playground Inspection and more! We take our training session across Ontario to ensure everyone has the opportunity to learn. 

    Advocate: Imagine a time in the future without your neighbourhood playground, wooded area where you hike or park where you take a lunch break. Unfortunately you may not have to look into the distant future. These spaces are victims of pollution, vandalism, deterioration and decreased funding. We work to advocate for the importance of parks and open spaces in all communities. We believe parks are essential to healthy communities and that everyone has the right to enjoy them.    

    Celebrate: We believe it is important to celebrate the achievements of students, organizations and individuals who make an impact on parks and open spaces. We do this through an annual awards recognition programs. Anyone has the opportunity to nominate an individual or organization for one of our four awards - Student Award of Recognition, Environmental Impact Award, Community Engagement Award or Lifetime Achievement Award.

    If you work for a municipal parks department, conservation authority, or organization that works in the parks and open space industry, we want to work with you! Consider getting an OPA Membership for discounted training fees, access to an exclusive discussion forum, a subscription to our quarterly magazine and so much more!

    Thank you for checking out our very first blog post! We hope this blog will be a space for you to learn about the amazing parks and open spaces throughout Ontario, the benefits of time in nature, and how OPA is here to help!

    Until next time, we hope you will work on Protecting Tomorrow Today® in your neighbourhood.


    Have a blog topic suggestion? Email us: opa@ontarioparksassociation.ca.
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