Take Our Kids to Work Day at Niagara Parks

On November 2, 2016, The Niagara Parks Commission (NPC) hosted 23 Grade 9 students from across Niagara for Take Our Kids to Work Day!

Take our Kids to Work Day is organized by The Learning Partnership, an annual national program in which Grade 9 students are hosted by parents and relatives in workplaces across Canada.

Through experiential learning in a variety of departments and areas at NPC, Grade 9 students embarked on a tour of a variety of different career options and got a true look behind the scenes of NPC’s attractions and facilities.

Students started their day with the Heritage Team, where they learned about the interpretive and curatorial roles at our Heritage sites. They learned of all the different employment opportunities available in Heritage, starting in high school. Students were even treated to a live demonstration of a musket shooting at Table Rock Centre!

Then the students met with NPC’s award winning Culinary team about the Apprentice Cooks and Chef’s Showcase Dinner, which has supported the educational endeavors of numerous aspiring chefs over the last 11 years through the Niagara Parks Apprentice Cooks scholarship. They discussed different education paths students should take to get their foot in the door as a culinary artist and treated students to a really interesting cutting demonstration!

To add a little fun to the day, students visited one of NPC’s most popular attractions, Journey Behind the Falls. While enjoying the breathtaking view, NPC’s High Angle Team dropped in for a quick visit by rappelling down into the Niagara Gorge. It was a highlight of the day!

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NPC’s Engineering team welcomed students to the Maintenance Centre where they got a close look at the many trades employed by staff. From carpentry, plumbing, painting, electrical and mechanics, NPC has it all.

Finally, students were led by the Horticulture team on a walking tour of Niagara Parks’ renowned Botanical Gardens and School of Horticulture and spoke to current students at the school about their experience.

“The Botanical Gardens was my favourite part of the day, hands down. Second was visiting the Forestry Department. I am very interested in botany.”  – Dawoud

NPC is very proud to be a part of Take Our Kids to Work Day. The program is a valuable tool to showcase what NPC has to offer while giving students a chance to appreciate the work their family member does.

Legends at Legends

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American Meg Mallon, who has been selected to enter the World Golf Hall of Fame next year, has a distinctive Canadian connection having won the Canadian Women’s Open on two occasions including the 2004 event on the Doug Carrick designed Battlefield course at Legends on the Niagara. Mallon will join 2016 Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III, 1991 Masters Champion Ian Woosnam, and former world number one Lorena Ochoa of Mexico, all of whom will be formally inducted next September along with the late golf writer and BBC commentator Henry Longhurst.

Mallon, 53, who became a member of the LPGA Tour in 1987, won 18 LPGA Tour events, including four major championships. She won three times in 2004 including her second U.S. Women’s Open. Her win at Legends on the Niagara that year was her second Canadian Women’s Open title, a 4-shot victory over Beth Daniel with scores of 65, 70, 65, 70 for an 18-under-par total of 280.

Mallon’s first win on Canadian soil came at the 2000 du Maurier Classic at Royal Ottawa, once considered one of the four LPGA majors until the ban on tobacco sponsorship caused its near-cancellation. Mallon was one of a parade of LPGA stars who lobbied hard to find a new sponsor and in 2001 the Bank of Montréal made a five-year commitment to the tournament, renaming it the BMO Canadian Women’s Open. With a purse of $2.25 million USD, the championship is today known as the CP Canadian Women’s Open.

The 2004 Canadian Women’s Open was the first major competition played at Legends on the Niagara, which officially opened in June 2002. Tournament director Sean Van Kesteren of Golf Canada, organizers of the event which attracted 41,000 spectators, called the course selection a “no brainer”. According to Van Kesteren, “We knew Legends had all the qualities we were looking for with superb conditioning and great greens. Everything logistically was perfect for an LPGA Tour event”. Winner Meg Mallon agreed. “This was the best conditioned golf course we’ve played all year,” she said.

Over the years Legends on the Niagara has continued to host important national championships among them the 2014 Canadian Junior Boys Championship and two Canadian Women’s Tour events including the 2014 affair won by a 16-year-old Canadian Brooke Henderson. Now an LPGA regular ranked among the top-5 players in the world. Henderson is on track to a Hall of Fame career of her own.

Desperate for Tiger’s Return

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The PGA Tour doesn’t usually generate much attention at this time of year, but that was all about to change with the buzz building over the return of Tiger Woods. Slated to tee it up in the first event of the new PGA Tour season at the Safeway Open in Napa, California, Woods abruptly withdrew on the Monday of tournament week stating that his game was not yet ready to take on the best players in the world. The much anticipated return of the 40-year-old superstar is going to have to wait at least two more months. His next scheduled appearance is the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas the first week of December. If he can stay healthy, and get his game back, Woods will presumably resume a full schedule in 2017.

Tiger Woods, who burst on the scene 20 years ago with his “Hello, World” at the 1996 Greater Milwaukee Open, last played a PGA Tour event, the Wyndham Championship, in August 2015 where he finished tied for 10th, his best finish of the year on a creaky back. He underwent microdiscectomy back surgery soon after, followed by two additional procedures, and he’s been on the shelf since Wyndham. He missed all four majors in 2016, the first time that’s happened in his career and in interviews, he has often sounded bleak about his prospects of playing again at a high level. This is the fifth time since 2008 that he’s missed three months or more because of injuries, and even Woods has had to grudgingly acknowledge that his rushed returns in the past did him no favors. But unlike prior comebacks, Tiger says that he has been smart about his recovery this time around. The question now is whether he can get his game back to a standard that he can accept. That’s a tall order.

For the past six to eight months all we’ve really seen of Tiger is shots of him with his young children, at corporate outings, and at the Ryder Cup, where he served as a vice captain to Davis Love III, and to many observers the game isn’t anywhere near as interesting without the 14-time major champion in the field. Everyone from the PGA Tour to his fellow players, sponsors, and fans is hoping for the day he tees it up again. And in the few glimpses we’ve seen of Tiger over the past month, crushing drives at a junior clinic and in a full warm-up session on the range at his new course design Bluejack National, he seems healthy. But then those have just been baby steps. You don’t go from the range to the PGA Tour overnight.

Assuming that we’ll see him once again prowling the fairways of the PGA Tour, what can we expect of Tiger Woods after his return from major back surgery? With 79 wins on the PGA Tour, he has nothing to prove to anybody, but expect him to win if his back holds up. He is after all a competitor, not an oddity, and no one has done more for the game of golf or drawn more interest to the game in the past 20 years like Tiger Woods. And the sport has missed him desperately. Today’s Tour players would be the first to admit that purses are what they are today largely because of what Tiger has done over the past two decades.

While there are no guarantees on how well Tiger can play, whether he’ll win another major, or even win again, make no mistake, the cameras and the spotlight of the entire golf world will be on Tiger Woods once again when he finally puts his tee in the ground at a PGA Tour event. Let’s hope that’s sooner than later.