July 15, 2011
Alf Savage will be the keynote speaker on Sat., Aug. 20, at the 75th anniversary celebrations of the Niagara Parks Commission School of Horticulture and the Ontario Parks Association.
Savage has enjoyed a varied career and has been a  proponent of parks and open spaces for many decades. He has continued to watch developments in many cities across Canada, and the Niagara Parks Commission (NPC) evolve to what it is today.

His observations of the parks industry over the last 60-plus years provide him with a wide perspective on the evolution and status of parks, horticulture and open spaces today. Savage will discuss how the OPA and NPC School of Horticulture were ahead of their time in providing impact on the parks, open spaces and horticulture industry, since both began in 1936.

Savage was raised in Sarnia where his family had a greenhouse operation. He entered the School of Horticulture in 1949 and graduated in 1952. He began his parks career, becoming commissioner of parks and recreation for York. In 1972, he moved to Edmonton to become superintendent of parks until 1974, when he began work for the Public Affairs Department.

After a successful career in parks and open spaces, he moved to the transportation department in Edmonton, eventually moving back to Ontario, to become general manager of the Toronto Transit Commission in 1981.

In 1987, he was lured by Niagara Frontier-Buffalo Transportation, where he spent three years participating in waterfront and boat launching projects, as well as a clean-up project which had a huge impact on downtown Buffalo. In 1990 he was hired to operate the transit system in Chicago until his retirement in 1994. At that time, he moved to the mountains near Calgary.

For more information, or to register for the weekend anniversary celebrations, go to http://bit.ly/opa75th.