map of Ojibway Prairie ComplexA national urban park centred on the Ojibway Prairie Complex would benefit Detroit as well as Windsor, says John Hartig.

Researcher touts cross-border benefits of national park in Ojibway

The proposed Ojibway National Urban Park promises to benefit not just Windsor, but cross-border communities in the Detroit metropolitan area, says a UWindsor researcher.

John Hartig, a visiting scholar at the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, writes in an online column that national parks promote ecotourism, serve as economic engines for local communities, protect biodiversity through conservation, and improve mental health and quality of life.

“Having Ojibway National Urban Park within easy access to Detroit right across the Detroit River will surely help promote cross-border trail tourism, further transboundary conservation, and help celebrate our shared history and culture,” Dr. Hartig says.

He cites the location’s “tremendous biodiversity,” its adjacency to the Gordie Howe International Bridge, and its long association with Indigenous peoples as factors to help promote Windsor and Detroit as cities actively engaged in sustainable redevelopment.

The column is part of Great Lakes Moment, a monthly series he publishes in conjunction with the magazine-style television program Great Lakes Now, housed at Detroit Public TV.

Read the entire piece, “Great Lakes Moment: Detroit’s benefits of a national urban park in Windsor,” at

The City of Windsor and Parks Canada are holding a public drop-in session to discuss a National Urban Park centred on the Ojibway Prairie Complex today — Wednesday, Dec. 7 — from 4 to 6 p.m. at the John Muir Library, 363 Mill St.