NFhorseshoeThe Niagara Parks Commission is in charge of about 16.19 square kilometres (6.25 sq mi) of parkland along the river, in addition to the Niagara Parkway which spans 56 kilometres (35 mi) from Fort Erie To Niagara on the Lake. Within this corridor, the NPC manages numerous trails, historic sites, picnic areas, and attractions. These include Journey Behind the Falls, the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory, and the Queenston Floral Clock. The Commission manages Navy Island National Historic Site under a lease agreement with the Parks Canada. It also owns the Chippawa Battlefield Park, and has developed a historical interpretive walk at this War of 1812 site. The NPC runs the Botanical Gardens and since 1997, the Butterfly Conservatory.

NPC operates the Niagara Parks School of Horticulture, a world renowned training centre for horticulturalists and gardeners.

Other significant properties include the Mackenzie Printery & Newspaper Museum, which holds the nation’s oldest press; McFarland House, an 18th Century Georgian home offering tours, tea, wine, and light fare; the Laura Secord Homestead, home to the heroine of the War of 1812, and a National Historic Site; and Old Fort Erie, a War of 1812 site that is claimed to be one of Canada’s bloodiest battlefields. In addition, the NPC has placed dozens of green plaques marking significant sites and events along the Niagara River.

WhirlpoolWideAngle1Niagara Parks also operated the WEGO, a shuttle bus system intended to aid transportation along the Niagara River and help reduce automobile crowding near the Falls. The buses were powered by propane and included a trailer unit during most popular hours. In the long term, the Commission is planning for a fixed track transit system along the Niagara Parkway, although no decision has been taken on the exact technology to be used. In the meantime, the Commission joined forces with Niagara Falls Transit to launch the WEGO bus system in 2012, and in the process discontinued the People Mover service.[4]

NPC now attempts to protect the natural beauty and attract tourism along the Niagara River, Niagara Gorge and Niagara Falls. The NPC is a self-financed agency of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Recreation.