-Niagara Escarpment Parks and Open Space System
An agency of Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources, the Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC) works on behalf of the people of Ontario to preserve the Niagara Escarpment as a continuous natural landscape – a vital corridor of green space through south-central Ontario.
The Niagara Escarpment Plan outlines land use designations, development criteria and related permitted uses, including farming, forestry and mineral resource extraction. It also provides the framework for a string of Niagara Escarpment Parks and Open Spaces (NEPOSS) linked by the Bruce Trail, Canada’s oldest and longest continuous footpath.
What does the Escarpment Parks and Open Space System do?
- Protect unique ecological and historical areas,
- Provide opportunities for outdoor education and recreation,
- Provide public access to the Niagara Escarpment,
- Complete a public system of major parks and open space through additional land acquisition and park and open space planning,
- Secure a route for the Bruce Trail,
- Maintain and enhance the natural environment of the Niagara Escarpment,
- Support tourism by providing opportunities on public land for discovery and enjoyment by Ontario’s residents and visitors,
- Educate visitors and community members on the Niagara Escarpment,
- Show leadership in supporting and promoting the principles of the Niagara Escarpment’s UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve,
- Designation through sustainable park planning, ecological management, community involvement, environmental monitoring, research and education.
The Park System is based on public lands acquired to protect distinctive features and significant areas along the Escarpment. The parks and trails are cared for and managed by a committed council of conservation agencies called the Niagara Escarpment Parks and Open Space System Council.