Ensuring Assiniboine Park is accessible to all

The Winnipeg Foundation

First $400,000 in ParkShare endowment gifts matched by Shirley Richardson and family.

Assiniboine Park Conservancy
Participants in Assiniboine Park Conservancy programs. Photos courtesy of Assiniboine Park Conservancy.

With more than five million visitors each year, Assiniboine Park belongs to our community – a diverse group covering a range of ages, nationalities, languages, and economic backgrounds. Unfortunately, not everyone can access the park and its programs – but the ParkShare Fund is looking to change that.

“The ParkShare Endowment Fund will provide a long-term approach to enhancing accessibility for financially disadvantaged groups of children, youth, and seniors,” says Rheo Catt, Director of Resource Development at Assiniboine Park Conservancy (APC). “Assiniboine Park is for everyone, it is a hub of activity in every season, a joyful gathering place in the heart of our city, and a natural oasis that allows visitors to reconnect with nature and each other.”

Shirley Richardson and her family are generously matching the first $400,000 in gifts to the ParkShare Fund.

“As long-time users and supporters of Assiniboine Park, it brings our family great pleasure to be able to ensure that the Park and Zoo remain accessible to the community for many years to come,” Mrs. Shirley Richardson says. “We have strongly believed in the importance of connecting with nature and the outdoors, and this important initiative will help continue to allow people of all ages to do just that.”

The ParkShare Endowment Fund is an Agency Fund, which means APC can rely on the annual distributions and has discretion over how the money is spent.

“The fund will enable APC to have a predetermined amount of money available for subsidized programming, helping to maximize resources. This predictable source of funding will support a community-informed planning process to identify how we can continue to ensure the Park remains accessible for everyone,” Ms. Catt says.

The Conservancy’s goals for the fund are to:

  • Provide funding for schools with limited access to its diverse, curriculum-linked educational programs.
  • Assist in sending economically disadvantaged children to the immersive week-long Zoo Camp.
  • Provide innovative programs connecting diverse communities to Assiniboine Park, including through the New Immigrant Family Nature Club.
  • Promote an age-inclusive culture through intergenerational learning experiences.
  • Support senior outreach programs that bring the benefits of the Park and its memories to them.

Click here to make a gift to the ParkShare Endowment Fund.

Plus, during the month of June, you can support the ParkShare Endowment Fund by adding a $2 top up to your purchase when you visit the Park or Zoo.


This story is featured in the Summer 2018 issue of our Working Together magazine. Download or view the full issue on our Publications page.

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