Get to Know The Riverwood Conservancy

The Riverwood Conservancy (TRC) is a volunteer and member-based charity that provides programs and services focused on environmental education, conservation, gardening, and horticulture. We invite individuals and families to explore this natural space in the heart of Mississauga, and take advantage of our range of programs and activities.

Founded in 1985 as the Mississauga Garden Council, today The Riverwood Conservancy works with like-minded groups and individuals to enable people of all cultures, ages, and abilities to respectfully connect with nature and learn about the importance of protecting and experiencing the beauty of Riverwood.

Founding Figures

During the transition from the Mississauga Garden Council to The Riverwood Conservancy, several key volunteers and staff members helped make the organizational shift possible. Charlie Brown, Shirley Daniels, Rita Schulze, Douglas Campbell, Philip Stuart, and Howard Hall all contributed in their own unique ways, but collectively helped expand Riverwood’s presence and establish TRC as a community leader in gardening, conservation, and nature education. We will always be grateful for the crucial contributions of these wonderful people.

Our Vision

A community that lives in harmony with nature.

Our Mission

The Riverwood Conservancy is the charity that provides programs and direction for Riverwood – the 150-acre, urban nature preserve situated on the shores of the Credit River in Mississauga. Working together with like-minded groups and individuals, our mission is to enable people of all cultures, ages, and abilities to respectfully connect with nature and learn about the importance of protecting, conserving and restoring natural spaces for the well-being of future generations – all while experiencing the beauty of the Riverwood gardens.

Our Values

Respect — We are a kind and caring organization that respects nature, the environment, and all people.
Welcoming — We enjoy meeting new people, hearing new ideas, and sharing the beauty of Riverwood.
Leadership — We are passionate in building awareness and offering opportunities for learning and discovery.
Participation — We provide opportunities for growth and a path for the future through community participation.
Integrity — We take our responsibilities very seriously and are transparent in our communications, interactions and intentions.

Strategic Directions 2020-2023

The Riverwood Conservancy is committed to include action on climate change as a lens through which it adjusts and implements its strategic plan.


TRC is recognized as a leader in environmental stewardship and conservation in an urban setting

Conservation, protection and enhancement of the ecological features and functions at Riverwood

– Protect ecological features and functions of Riverwood
– Protect local hydrology, wetlands and water quality
– Develop a sustainable trail strategy

Expand TRC’s expertise in environmental stewardship to help build the broader community’s collective knowledge and capacity

Build Stewardship Learning Programs that communicate and demonstrate how and why to restore and protect biodiversity and ecological health of Riverwood

– Identify and grow the staff and volunteer resources required to sustain and further share TRC expertise
– Determine the feasibility for providing TRC guidance and expertise to support volunteer stewardship groups at off-site properties


TRC is recognized as a leader in horticulture

Continued leadership in the design and maintenance of gardens at Riverwood to support and enhance the natural beauty of the site

– Introduce one new garden to Riverwood every 2-3 years, with an emphasis on greater plant diversity and thematic designs, and by so doing broaden volunteer opportunities
– Stage an incremental expansion of the Enabling Garden
– Support the City of Mississauga in the curatorial practices of MacEwan Terrace Garden and initiate same curatorial practices for the Parker / Chappell Gardens
– Continue discussions with the City to take on greater responsibility and autonomy for the ongoing operations of MacEwan Terrace Garden

Sharing TRC’s horticultural expertise to help build the broader community’s collective knowledge and capacity

– Enhance horticultural learning opportunities to TRC volunteers, staff and the community
– Build partnerships with University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) to develop and deliver UTM and Citizen Science projects in botanical field research

Education Programs

TRC is recognized as a leader in environmental education for all ages by offering relevant and innovative educational and community programs that will encourage people of all cultures, ages and abilities to connect with nature

Ensure the Education Program has the current and future staffing and volunteer resources required to provide the highest quality school-based, community-based and special needs programs

Determine the feasibility for incremental growth of curriculum-based and community programming at TRC and off-site properties

Seek out and plan to provide wellness-based programs across all educational platforms

Organizational Sustainability

The Riverwood Conservancy commits to building a sustainable future for the organization through effective governance and planning

A dynamic and well-planned fund development plan

An effective and transparent organizational communications and marketing plan

Work with partners to provide the facilities to achieve TRC’s goals

Deepen existing and establish further strategic and collaborative relationships

Continual review and improvement of TRC’s organizational and governance structures and processes to increase its effectiveness