Point Pelee National Park turns 100
It's a once in a lifetime celebration at the southern-most tip of Canada.
Birthday cake and field trips helped mark 100 years of conservation and community at Point Pelee, the first national park established solely for ecological conservation reasons.
"It was the ninth national park in Canada overall but up until that time all the park shad been established for recreational purposes so we were sort of a first, a pioneer in that area," says park superintendent, Maria Papoulias.
Leamington mayor john paterson believes the park is a gem.
"You can't do it in the city, you have to come out to the county and do it out here and Point Pelee certainly offers a lot of everybody," says Leamington mayor John Paterson.
Point Pelee has the highest biodiversity of any national park in the country even though it's one of the smallest.
It is also the southern-most point of land in all of Canada.
Park superintendent Maria Papoulias tells CTV News the history of Point Pelee dates back far beyond 100 years. The former 19th century British naval base once was home to the ancestors of the Caldwell First Nation, a relationship Parks Canada officials say continues to this day.
"Point Pelee is all about the community, all about our people, our volunteers our first nations partners and of course our dedicated staff," says Papoulias.
Last year there were well over half a million visitors who came to Point Pelee National Park thanks in part to Canada 150 and the free parks pass.