Make it official: protect nature, wildlife, and rich cultural history in Guelph’s former Reformatory Lands

The city of Guelph is growing rapidly; opportunities to protect its unique natural areas are shrinking. A national urban park in Guelph’s Reformatory Lands could buffer the city from some of the worst impacts of climate change and protect and restore nature all while advancing Indigenous Reconciliation.

Guelph’s former Ontario Reformatory Lands provide valuable connectivity to nearby wetlands and river systems, offer a place for people to connect to nature in an increasingly busy urban landscape, and are home to a plethora of species. A national urban park would offer a unique opportunity to advance Canada’s commitment to protect 30% of its lands and waters by 2030 while serving as a site of Indigenous Knowledge and stewardship.

Wildlands honours the support for this initiative from the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and Six Nations of the Grand River Elected Council, and agree this is “a profound opportunity for Healing, Conservation, Restoration, and a Connection to Nature”. The Reformatory lands were formerly used by the Native Sons, a group of Indigenous inmates, as a place of healing and to share culturally significant activities.

Momentum is building. Over 30 leading local, provincial, and national groups have already endorsed this idea to make nature a priority in Guelph on this site. Let’s work together to make it happen.

Premier Ford and Mayor Guthrie, we call on you to work with Urban Park Guelph and others to set aside the remaining Ontario Reformatory Lands for the creation of a National Urban Park in Guelph, Ontario.