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Next up:  A joint workshop on visitation in Ontario protected areas offered by the Niagara Escarpment Parks and Open Space System Council, Centre for Applied Science in Ontario Protected Areas, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

March 1 2017 – Royal Botanical Gardens @ Burlington ON

The Niagara Escarpment Parks and Open Space System Council, Centre for Applied Science in Ontario Protected Areas, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry invite you to a one-day solution focused conference to share experiences around challenges with visitation in Ontario’s protected areas.  2016 saw visitation at many of Ontario’s protected areas reach record levels as tourists and locals alike explored greenspaces in large numbers. The ‘viral’ sharing via social media of waterfalls and lookouts helped increase the intensity of use of these spaces. As protected area professionals, we want to engage, inspire, interpret and share the special places we steward, care for and manage in Ontario, however, is the success of engaging now beginning to threaten the very areas we are seeking to protect and what can we do to manage these areas?  How do we manage our protected areas and the challenge of them becoming ‘Big Box Greenspaces’ with high numbers of visitors and an intensity of use beyond the resources of managers to accommodate?

The morning session will see speakers from Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park in Scotland, from Bruce Peninsula National Park, and from other Escarpment land managers, share their own stories about sites that have become ‘Big Box Greenspaces’ and the challenges that this use has created. They will share the solutions that they are developing or have implemented and the challenges that these bring – from a national level to a land trust and smaller site scale.  Our speakers will then form an expert panel for an afternoon session where we hope that through facilitated workshops, we can gather a range of solutions that can be adopted by attendees in addressing visitation challenges in their own areas.

The event is open to anyone involved in managing visitors in open spaces – particularly government agencies, municipalities, conservation authorities and land trusts. While the focus will be on public use of areas of natural significance, the discussions will also focus on resource issues such as parking, trail management and management planning of open spaces.

There is an informal evening meal and reduced rate accommodation for delegates that wish to arrive on Tuesday evening before the event. Contact nlobley [@] hrca.on.ca for details on accommodation and venue.

REGISTRATION:  https://secure.conservationhalton.net/forreg/

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Also coming soon: A report on the 2016 AGM (October 20/21) on Protected areas in a landscape context: Greater park ecosystems & Protected Areas in the Great Lakes (2016 CASIOPA AGM Oct 20-21 [word] or 2016 CASIOPA AGM Oct 20-21 [PDF])

Woodland Caribou Provincial park

Welcome to the Centre for Applied Science in Ontario Protected Areas (CASIOPA) .We are a consortium of government, non-governmental, private sector, and academic organizations and professionals who are dedicated to excellence in research and communication about applied sciences in the vast number of protected areas in Ontario, Canada.  We are directly supported by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and the University of Waterloo.

Misery Bay Provincial Park

CASIOPA supports and celebrates Ontario Parks and Protected Areas via  the latest version of a video showing every provincial park:

Our twitter feed is @CASIOPA_ON. Follow us there!

Interested in conducting research in Ontario’s Provincial Parks, Nature Reserves, or Conservation Reserves? Start here for the permit process.

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry has published several state of the science reports, including the state of parks; some of these have been done in conjunction with CASIOPA.  The same link as the permit page gets you a list of those reports and further links to copies of them, here.

Kama Hills PNR

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