This content was created by a team of park leaders as part of their final task in the CPPCL leadership development program. The material does not necessarily reflect the positions of each member of the capstone team.

The purpose of this capstone project was to provide context to a conversation about the essential nature of parks and protected areas in relation to individuals and society during a time of challenge.

This infographic below, created by the team of park leaders, is intended to be an exploration of what this pandemic has taught us about ourselves and provoke an evolution of how parks and protected areas can be managed into the future.


  • The covid-19 pandemic highlighted the critical role parks and protected areas play in the
    mental and physical well-being of Canadians.
  • In Canada, during the first wave of the pandemic (March – June 2020) parks and protected areas shut down, consistent with non-essential services across the country. The subsequent demand for access to and increased use of parks throughout the COVID-19 global pandemic may demonstrate a shift in society’s reliance on and expectations for access to nature through parks.


  • The connection between nature, well-being and health has never been more apparent than during the covid-19 pandemic. This pandemic has illuminated the significance of nature and how it connects us to what is fundamentally most important to us all including both physical and mental health, self and spirituality, and a sense of belonging and community.
  • Parks and Protected Areas across Canada and around the world saw surges in the
    number of visitors post spring 2020 lockdowns, and there was a collective recognition of the benefits that access to nature provides towards human health and well-being.
  • Throughout the year, a lot has been written about the importance of access to nature during the pandemic. This project has involved compiling what we have learned, and framing that in a Canadian context.
  • This has led to the identification of three (3) paths, outlined as questions, for deeper dialogue and understanding around Health; Accessibility; and Preparedness.

Prepared by:
Capstone Team D, April 2021
CPCIL-Park Leaders Development Program, Fall 2020

  •  Mireille Boulianne –  Sépaq, Québec
  • Andrew Boyne – Canadian Wildlife Service, Atlantic Region
  • Tara Crandlemere – Nova Scotia Parks
  • Jennifer Duquette – Parks Canada Agency, Ontario
  • Jackie Zinger – Parks Canada Agency, Yukon
  • Briana Hamilton – CPCIL

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