2018 Park Summit – Activate Ottawa Parks

Ecology Ottawa’s annual Park Summit is the biggest park gathering in Ottawa! Happening on (or the weekend around) Earth Day, our Park Summit is the result of a partnership between us and the Toronto based charity Park PeopleThe idea is that when communities get involved, parks get better!

The theme for this year’s Park Summit is: Activate Ottawa Parks and our inspiring speaker series has been organized to show you a choice selection of people and groups who are breaking trails and taking action in Ottawa parks. As our speakers tell you tales of greenspace glory, you will have the opportunity to think through how you could get more involved with greening-up your greenspaces with our How-To-Workbook.  After the speakers have spoken, attendants will then be able to peruse our community booths and look for ways to become more active in Ottawa parks!

This year the Summit will be held on April 21 from 2:00PM – 6:00PM at allsaints Event Space. This unique event will be a golden opportunity to create relationships with other people in your community and to generate ideas for ongoing participation and build momentum to make our city parks even better!

Because of our generous sponsors this event is free! Register HERE

Community Speakers

Keynote – Amanda Brandimore, Womens Trail Running Festival

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Amanda Brandimore started her trail running adventure 6 years ago with Natural Fitness Lab, and has expanded her love in nature through xc-skiing, mountain biking and hiking. Through this time she has had the joy of experiencing how peaceful and relaxing running in nature can be. Being outdoors offers the mind to quiet and settle and also offers the body a new challenge in navigating through all of mother natures obstacles. 

Aaron Cayer, Birling

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Born and raised here in Ottawa., Aaron Cayer is a co owner of Birling and Director of the Ottawa Skateboard Association.  He has been skateboarding for over 20 years in the city. The passion he has for skateboarding is incredible. Aaron is the recent recipient of United Way’s GenNext award, for which he received in recognition of his interesting and engaging work around Ottawa’s skateboard community and beyond. Whether as an entrepreneur, skateboarder or community leader, Aaron continues to advocate for greater resources and creative solutions to promote and encourage free play.

Trevor Jamieson, RiverOak Estate


Trevor grew up in Metcalfe, Ontario loving to play outdoors exploring every corner of his family’s 160 acre property always searching for an adventure or innovation for how to do something. His love of nature and fond childhood memories of the property led him to buy the farm 6 years ago and the transformation began into a natural wonderland to bring people of all ages out into nature. Like most Canadians, Trevor learned to skate and play hockey as soon as he could stand, with his father making skating rinks in the back yard and on the river along their farm. From these experiences skating outdoors spawned the dream of being able to skate along trails through the orchard, meadows, and woods in his backyard. With over a decade in construction management experience and several years running charitable community events such as Squash CF Pumpkin Launch, in benefit of Cystic Fybrosis, Trevor was ready to launch RiverOak Estates and begin sharing his love of the enchanting property where he grew up.

John Forster, Odyssey Theater

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John has been on the Board of several arts and non-profit organizations for over 30 years.  He has an MBA from York University including studies in arts management and a Bachelor of Science in Forestry from the University of Toronto.  He completed studies in Environmental Economics at Harvard. Previously, he had a 35-year career in Canada’s public service, most recently at the Deputy Minister level, working in the areas of defence and security, infrastructure, transportation and natural resources.  He also developed policies and strategies for the sustainable development of forests and natural resources, as well as a national strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector. John joined Odyssey as the General Manager of Odyssey Theatre in the fall of 2017.  Odyssey Theatre is Ottawa’s premier professional summer theatre, known for their award-winning open-air productions featuring masks, physical theatre and imaginative staging.  Entering its 33rd season, Odyssey’s Theatre Under The Stars attracts thousands each summer to the banks of the Rideau River in Ottawa’s Strathcona Park.  Odyssey has played a key role working with the City of Ottawa to revitalize this historic but underused park into a cultural venue that has hosted theatre, jazz and dance performances and an annual visual arts show.  Last year to mark Canada’s 150th anniversary, Odyssey also produced an innovative community arts project, Spreading Roots, which created community performances about trees in 8 neighbourhood greenspaces across Ottawa, along with the planting of over 150 trees.

Jill Sturdy, Nature Canada

Jill Sturdy Nature Canada

Jill is the NatureHood Program Manager for Nature Canada, the oldest national nature conservation charity in Canada, representing a network of over 60,000 members and supporters and more than 350 nature organizations across the country. NatureHood is about engaging Urban Canadians to expolre Nearby Nature – Nature right where you live!  NatureHood promotes nature awareness at the local level and exposes a new generation of nature lovers and citizen scientists to nature all around them.
Jill has been working to protect wilderness and wildlife for over 15 years. Originally from Edmonton, Jill holds a BSc in Environmental and Conservation Sciences, with a major in Conservation Biology from the University of Alberta. Jill moved to Ottawa in 2005 to work for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) and was actively engaged in nation-wide conservation campaigns, including mobilizing Canadians to help protect Canada’s Boreal Forest and threatened woodland caribou, and the successful campaign to protect the South Nahanni watershed in an expanded national park reserve.
A Lorax at heart, Jill is dedicated to protecting all things wild and hopes to instill the wonder and love of nature in her young son. Jill lives south of Ottawa with her son, husband and pup where they spend most of their time in their NatureHood.

Our sponsors

This amazing event would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors. Their guidance and contributions allow the Park Summit to be a free, inclusive, and engaging event!

TD Bank 

Sarah Colley, Regional Environment Manager


Sarah Colley has been Regional Manager of Ontario for TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF) since September 2017, and has been a part of the TD FEF team since 2016. Prior to joining TD FEF, she worked in TD’s Corporate Environmental Affairs team supporting communications and environmental reporting. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environment, Sustainability & Society and International Development Studies from Dalhousie University. Sarah is a member of the Community Advisory Committee for The Bentway Conservancy in Toronto.

Park People

Ayal Dinner


Ayal is a Program Manager at Park People. Before Park People he worked as Executive Director of Greenest City, running environmental education, urban agriculture, and community development programs in Parkdale, and supporting projects across Toronto. 
Ayal has a background in community work and food security and is a founder of the West End Food Coop. He is a founding board member of the Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust and the Local Food and Farming Co-ops Network. He previously worked as a community food animator with FoodShare.
In 2012 Ayal received a Diamond Jubilee Award for his contributions to the community.

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Community Booths

Once you’ve been inspired to get more active in your local greenspaces, you can take a look at a small selection of local groups who are all working in and around Ottawa greenspaces. Check them out, and find ways to get more involved in your community!

Ecology Ottawa’s Park Summit will be followed by our annual Earth Day Party  Starting at 8:00PM-11:00PM at 25One Community (251 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1X2), only a 30 minute walk from allsaints! This party will be a great way to spend more time mingling with Summit speakers, attendee’s and other like-minded humans. There will be music, drinks, nibbles, and amazing door prizes. To learn more, visit our event page!

April 21, 2018 from 2:00PM – 6:00PM
allsaints Event Space
10 Blackburn Ave
Ottawa,ON K1N 6P9
Google map and directions
 Velta Tomsons · velta.tomsons@ecologyottawa.ca · (613) 860-5353