The Cornerstone Parks program is Canada’s only national network dedicated to maximizing the impact and influence of Canada’s large urban parks. The network brings together park-based NGOs working in large urban parks across Canada. 

Large urban parks are critical spaces for people living in cities to build meaningful connections to nature and each other and give cities a head start when mitigating climate change impacts. Due to their size, large urban parks also require more resources for maintenance, operations, and programming. Noticing the unique challenges and opportunities faced by organizations working in large urban parks across Canada, Park People created the Cornerstone Parks program. 

The Cornerstone program supports large urban parks by: 

  • Providing direct funding to community-based stewardship and restoration initiatives
  • Engaging in evaluation and impact measurement activities with our partners in order to capture the collective environmental and social outcomes of their work 
  • Building the capacity of park groups in equity-deserving communities through direct funding, research and advocacy, and mentorship
  • Fostering a thriving Cornerstone Network, a robust network of non-profit organizations, charities, and community groups working within large urban parks across Canada 
  • Building the capacity of park groups by providing access to workshops, resources, and local networks
  • Supporting a shared perspective shift to seeing urban parks as necessary health infrastructure in communities through collective impact measurement and storytelling. 

The growing Cornerstone Parks Network includes:


Park Use & Stewardship Reports

Over the past two years, Park People and its partners have conducted research with park users and stewards to better understand the link between parks and health. This first-of-its-kind research shows the tremendous benefits of park stewardship regarding mental and physical health, social connection, and general well-being.
Dig into our blog posts and reports to explore our findings and the many park programs and restoration initiatives in large urban parks across Canada.
Read the reports

Made possible by the generous support of an anonymous donor and

TD Ready Commitment
the Hilary and Galen Weston Foundation
Parks Canada