The Ontario Paper Thorold Foundation Donates $100,000 to Support Instructional Equipment at Niagara College

Niagara College Environmental Technician – Field and Laboratory program students, from left, Christine Combe, Jon Banninga, and Katie Bristow, share their applied learning experience in the program’s outdoor classroom at the beautiful Wetland Ridge Trail at NC’s Niagara-on-the-Lake campus, with The Ontario Paper Thorold Foundation representatives Angelo Ruscitti, Suzie Bowles, president/chair Adrian Barnet and Ron Hartle. In recognition of their generous gift, Niagara College has named the outdoor classroom in honour of The Ontario Paper Thorold Foundation.

The Ontario Paper Thorold Foundation, a strong supporter of Niagara College (NC), has announced a gift of $100,000, the latest in a history of support for student initiatives at the College.

This gift will support the purchase of instructional equipment to help ensure NC graduates have the critical skills they need to meet employer expectations and ever-evolving industry needs.

In honour of this generous gift, the College has named the ‘outdoor classroom’ at the beautiful Wetland Ridge Trail at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus, ‘The Ontario Paper Thorold Foundation Outdoor Classroom.’ This area is used by students in the Environmental Technician – Field and Laboratory program.

Since 1979, The Ontario Paper Thorold Foundation has supported student initiatives including: 112 scholarships and bursaries in the environmental programs; Capital Campaigns; Gifts-in-Kind; and, the latest donation of $100,000 —  $600,000 in donations in all.

“We are grateful to The Ontario Paper Thorold Foundation for its generous gift of $100,000,” said NC president Dan Patterson. “This continued support is yet another demonstration of the Foundation’s leadership role in making our Niagara community a better place to live, learn and work.”

College graduates are a backbone of many occupations, skills and trades that are crucial to a strong economy, said Patterson.

“Ontario Paper was a highly successful company due to the availability of skilled labour in the Niagara region,” said Ontario Paper Thorold Foundation president and chairperson Adrian Barnet. “Part of the company’s legacy is giving back to the community that ensured its success for over 100 years of paper-making. Niagara College provides access to cutting edge tools to teach students the skills they will need to contribute to new and traditional industry areas.

“We want our children to have jobs and Niagara College plays a key role in ensuring that they get rewarding and prosperous employment here in the Niagara region and around the world.”

Added Patterson: “access to state-of-the-art equipment is the cornerstone of successful applied education. This gift supports the hands-on training our students need as they prepare for meaningful and productive careers.”

The outdoor classroom has been used for soil and water sampling, species identification and ecosystem restoration since the construction of the campus in 1999.

“We are fortunate to have access to the outdoor classroom,” said Al Unwin, associate dean of the School of Environmental and Horticultural Studies. “Experience is what makes Niagara College unique and prepares our students for entering the workforce with relevant experience and skills.

“We are grateful for The Ontario Paper Thorold Foundation’s generous support and are honoured to dedicate this site in their name.”

The Ontario Paper Thorold Foundation has a long history of contributing to the development and maintenance of a healthy economic, educational, social and environmental climate throughout the Niagara region, by offering financial support to various charitable organizations.

Currently celebrating its 50th year as a College of Applied Arts and Technology, NC is a leader in applied education and a key contributor to the economies of Niagara and Ontario. A regional college with global reach, NC offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs. For more information, visit: