Parks and Open Space

Stay Healthy and Keep Active in Owen Sound!

We have a great community to enjoy. Beautiful parks, scenery and groups offering chances for all ages to be active. Enjoy the splash pad at Kelso Beach, bike the Tom Thomson Trail, and enjoy many sports and activities.

Look for the Kiwanis Sk8 & Bike Park at Victoria Park, built in partnership with the Kiwanis Club of Owen Sound. Meet some friends at Harrison Park or the Inner Harbour, or discover the many other parks and outdoor recreation areas Owen Sound has to offer.

To book or rent a parks facility (including a picnic area, community centre, baseball diamond, sport facility, etc.), contact:

City Hall, 808 2nd Avenue East
Monday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Phone: 519-376-1440

Concerned about a tree?

Please complete the form linked below to request a tree inspection for concerns such as:

  • Low branches
  • Cracks
  • Fallen limbs
  • General decline in tree health
  • Pest infestation or tree disease
  • Other tree health concerns or unexpected changes in the tree

To report a fallen tree or large limb causing an immediate hazard, please call 519-376-3203 during business hours or if after hours, please call 519-376-4274.

Please note that the City of Owen Sound is responsible for trees on City property, including the boulevard.  If you have concerns about a tree on private property, contact a qualified arborist for an assessment.

Report a Tree Concern 

Parks & Open Space

Owen Sound has many greenspaces and parks within the City, with something for everyone! Owen Sound offers many neighbourhood parks with a variety of features. For information on our parks, please refer to the Parks and Facilities module. For rental inquiries, please contact 519-376-1440.

Sports Fields

Ball Diamonds

There are 13 ball diamonds in the city. They range from class 1 facilities at Duncan McLellan Park where provincial and regional tournaments are held, class 2 for ball games at St. Georges Park, and several class 3 diamonds for practices and family games at Harrison Field, St. Julien's, Kinsmen Park, and Kelso Beach. Baseball diamond bookings start annually on the first business day of April. Please contact the Facilities Booking Coordinator via email at aoleary@owensound.ca or via phone at 519-376-4440 ext. 1255.

Kiwanis Soccer Complex

The Kiwanis Soccer Complex boasts 5 main pitches and 6 mini pitches and is a partnership between the City and the Owen Sound Minor Soccer Association. To book a soccer field, contact Owen Sound Minor Soccer. Directions and field information can be found on the Owen Sound Minor Soccer Association website.

Kelso Beach Park

Kelso Beach Park is an oasis on Georgian Bay, at the mouth of the Pottawatomi River in Owen Sound.

Recreational facilities include a splash pad, accessible washroom and changeroom, sandy playground, picnic shelter, soccer fields, baseball diamond, waterfront access, and paved, multi-use trails.

It is accessible by car via the Eddie Sargent Parkway (with parking on site), or by foot or bicycle via the Harbourfront Walkway. The park offers views of the eastern shore of the harbour and is lined with willow trees in many areas.

Harrison Park

Harrison Park is an urban dream, with more than 40 hectares of streams, trails, gardens, playgrounds, forest and green space, right in the heart of the City. Often called our "jewel in the crown," the park features dining and recreation facilities, a full-service campground, boat rentals, a bird sanctuary, mini-putt, basketball courts, tennis courts, accessible pool, and an open-air rink. Its network of trails leads through forest, fields and streams to Inglis Falls, and connects directly with the Bruce Trail on the Niagara Escarpment. Our resident swans and their offspring will delight all ages, along with the many other species of birds frolicking and sunning themselves in our ponds and river.

Campgrounds

Owen Sound has two campgrounds within the heart of the City. Whether you want to experience an outdoor weekend retreat, have friends visiting, or are hosting a local tournament, the Harrison Park Campground or Kelso Beach Campground offer camping close to all amenities. View our Campgrounds page for more information.

Owen Sound Trails Network

Set in a vibrant outdoor playground, the City of Owen Sound is proud to be home to some of the area's richest trail systems. Trail users can enjoy sunsets from trail routes along the shores of the bay or the quiet strolls along the harbour walkway. Harrison Park offers trail goers an assorted selection of both hard surfaced and natural trails connecting into Grey Sauble Conservation land leading to the ever popular Inglis Falls. The Tom Thomson Trail provides outdoor enthusiasts with a well maintained portion along the City's east shore. For those that like to explore, there are four gorgeous waterfalls within easy reach of the City, all accessible by trail and waiting for the adventure seeker.

Greenwood Cemetery

The City of Owen Sound's Greenwood Cemetery is located on approximately 40 acres of land on the south westerly corner of the City. Surrounded by tall, stately maples and cedar hedges, a heavily wooded ravine runs diagonally through the centre of the cemetery. It is a traditional cemetery with areas for both upright monuments and flat markers. The original house is now used as the cemetery office and the maintenance building for storage and grounds equipment is located behind the house. Some of the City's most significant heritage buildings are located here. The Cemetery features: Cemetery office (1847), Chapel (1905) and Mausoleum (1932). In addition to traditional interment burials, the Cemetery also offers 3 columbaria with 248 niches for cremation burials.

The Cemetery office is open Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., by appointment or walk in. Call the cemetery office at 519-376-3203.

Boulevard Tree Planting Program 

Residents of Owen Sound can request for a tree to be planted in the boulevard in front of their property, at no cost. All requests are filled subject to species availability and suitability to the site. The City reserves the right to reject any requests if the tree location is unsuitable for any reason. One request per property each year will be considered.

If you would like to submit a request, please complete the Boulevard Tree Planting Request Form.

If you have any questions about this program, please contact the Parks & Cemetery Administrative Coordinator at 519-376-3203. 

Commemorative Bench Program

Individuals can request for a commemorative bench to be installed in a City park or Greenwood Cemetery. The financial contribution to participate in the program is $2,038.00 plus HST (subject to change with Council approval) for the purchase, delivery, and installation of the bench on a concrete pad.

After the bench is installed, the City assumes ownership and responsibility for ongoing maintenance of the bench.

Commemorative plaques may be installed to identify the commemorative bench and are included in the program fee. The plaques are 15cm (length) x 5.4cm (height) and can be inscribed with wording of your choice, provided the number of letters can suitably be accommodated.

The City of Owen Sound is not responsible for the maintenance or replacement of commemorative plaques.

For more information and to submit a request, please complete the Commemorative Bench Program Application Form

If you have questions about this program, please contact the Parks & Cemetery Administrative Coordinator at 519-376-3203.

Forestry

Emerald Ash Borer

Ash trees are a significant species in the City's urban forest, which includes trees on private as well as public lands within the City. Like many Ontario municipalities, Owen Sound faces a threat to its Ash tree population. The exotic, invasive insect pest Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has infested many Ash trees throughout Southern Ontario.

In the spring of 2014, with the potential threat of this pest, Owen Sound City Council approved the Emerald Ash Borer Management Plan to reduce and mitigate the impact of EAB. The first step in the EAB Management Plan, to complete an inventory and assessment of the City's Ash trees to better understand the true management costs for selective treatment and removal of publicly-owned Ash trees was completed in 2015. In the summer of 2016, the City began preventative treatments of large healthy Ash trees on City property to protect these important urban forest trees.

Reporting Emerald Ash Borer

Report signs and symptoms of infested trees to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, toll free at 1-800-442-2342 or contact the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources at 1-800-667-1940.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency publishes up to date information about the progress of this invasive insect.

Tree City of the World Certification

The City of Owen Sound has achieved Tree City of the World Certification by demonstrating our commitment to good forestry practices.

Tree Cities of the World is an internationally recognized program operated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Arbor Day Foundation.

In order to be certified, the City has met the program’s 5 core standards:

Establish Responsibility

  • The city has a written statement by city leaders delegating responsibility for the care of trees within the municipal boundary to a staff member, a city department, or a group of citizens—called a Tree Board.

Responsibility for tree care within the municipal boundary is delegated to the Parks and Open Space Division.

The City has a Manger of Parks and Open Space and two certified arborists responsible for urban and parks forestry management.

This statement is reaffirmed annually via Community Services Committee Orientation. 

Set the Rules
  • The city has in place a law or an official policy that governs the management of forests and trees. 

The City’s Strategic Plan includes an objective that Owen Sound will be a Green City, supported by the key result that Owen Sound will offset 100 tons of Co2 emissions by planting 100 hardwood trees annually.

Urban forestry management and a healthy urban canopy also indirectly support the Safe City, Prosperous City, and A City that Grows Strategic Plan objectives.

The City’s Shade Tree By-law establishes rules for managing trees in Owen Sound.

The City’s Official Plan includes policies for development and landscaping.

In some cases, the Grey County Forest Management By-law informs tree management and policy.

The City’s Commemorative Forest and boulevard tree programs incentivize community participation in urban canopy renewal.

The City’s Emerald Ash Borer Management Plan guides management practices for identifying and protecting ash trees with significant value to the community, and strategic removal and replacement of ash trees that are not candidates for protection. 

Know What You Have

  • The city has an updated inventory or assessment of the local tree resource so that an effective long-term plan for planting, care, and removal of city trees can be established.

The City has a GIS based individual tree inventory for 9,900 trees on City boulevards and within active park areas.

Allocate Resources

  • The city has a dedicated annual budget for forestry maintenance operations, contractor support, new trees and invasive species management.

In 2021, the City allocated $168,250 to urban forestry management. 

Celebrate Achievements

  • The city holds an annual celebration of trees to raise awareness among residents and to acknowledge citizens and staff members who carry out the city tree programme.

In 2021, the City hosted a social media campaign focused on education about or urban forest and the workers who maintain it. In the fall of 2022 an in person event to celebrate trees and recognize donations to the  commemorative forest from the previous year.

 

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