Protecting Niagara’s History and Natural Environment
Niagara Parks is committed to environmental protection and heritage stewardship, and to providing the public with access to a broad range of amenities and services to help them enjoy the natural and historic wonders of our Parks. Niagara Parks receives no government financing, however, by raising revenues at our facilities, we are able to undertake many important programs to preserve and protect the natural and historic environment of the Niagara River corridor.
In the important area of historic preservation, Niagara Parks has been officially responsible for heritage sites and properties within the Park since 1890. It was in that year that our historic stewardship role was initiated, when we purchased and agreed to maintain Queenston Heights Park, the site of the nationally significant Brock’s Monument.
In 1901, Old Fort Erie was the second site added to the heritage inventory and since then several more historic sites and attractions have been obtained, developed and/or maintained by Niagara Parks.
Our most recent historical preservation initiative was in 1995, when Niagara Parks assumed control of a War of 1812 battlefield site and its adjoining properties. This was the scene of an historic battle that took place on July 5th, 1814, between about 4000 American, British and Canadian soldiers and their aboriginal allies. By the time the battle was over, more than 800 men lay dead or were wounded in the field now preserved and protected by Niagara Parks.
Today, Chippawa Battlefield Park is considered one of most pristine battlefield sites east of the Mississippi River. A self-guided tour of the site was launched in July 2000 to explain to visitors the sequence of events of the battle. The tour was developed by Donald Graves, Military Historian and expert on the Battle.
Another significant project under Niagara Parks’ stewardship is the installation and maintenance of over one hundred plaques that identify the landmarks, events and persons important to the history of the region. Placed along the length of the Niagara Parkway, visitors can stop to read and study the stories relayed by these markers and memorials. The scenic trip is not only beautiful, but entertaining and educational as well. Click here for an inventory of Historic Plaques and Markers
The Niagara Heritage Trail brings to life the history of the Niagara Region at these interesting and informative sites: