Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society logo.
Editor's Note

This profile originally appeared in the 2021 Giving Guide. Read the full magazine here.

CPAWS is Canada’s only charity dedicated to the protection of public land, freshwater and ocean with a strong national and regional presence across the country. Working in a way that respects the sovereignty and leadership of Indigenous nations, we are focused on conserving nature to respond to the dual crises of accelerated biodiversity loss and climate change.

With almost 60 years of success, we are Canada’s leader in conservation and have played a lead role in protecting over half a million square kilometres – an area bigger than the entire Yukon Territory! Our vision is that at least half of land, freshwater and ocean in Canada is permanently protected to sustain nature and people for current and future generations.

A blue lake surrounded by pine trees and a mountain.

At a glance:

Year founded: 1963

Total revenue for last fiscal year: $13,317,562

Twitter: @cpaws 

Facebook: /CPAWS

Instagram: @cpaws_national

LinkedIn: Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS)

Top funding sources:

  • Foundation: 47%
  • Individual: 19%
  • Government: 28%
  • Corporate: 2%
  • Other: 4%

Geographic region of focus: National office located in Ottawa, Ontario with 13 regional chapters across Canada working locally at the grassroots level on conservation campaigns.

How you can help

A butterfly feeds from a flower. It is brown with darker brown and yellow spots and stripes.


Canada has committed to protecting 25% of Canada by 2025 and 30% by 2030 – ambitious yet achievable goals if we act now! At CPAWS, our priority is to leverage this opportunity. With your support, we will continue to drive conservation work forward both nationally and provincially with our regional chapters across the country, we'll build our capacity to deliver conservation measure on the ground, and we'll inspire Canadians to stand together as the voice for nature as we combat the biodiversity and climate crises.


Help make a difference in your community by connecting with your local CPAWS chapter. We are working from coast to coast to coast to protect more of Canada’s iconic land, seascapes and wildlife.

Events and Fundraising

Have your will written for free – and make a difference to the future

This November, CPAWS is sponsoring Free Wills Month in the Ottawa Valley, providing an opportunity for people 55+ to have their will written for free. An up-to-date will gives you peace of mind and a gift in your will costs nothing in your lifetime but can make a difference for years to come.  Although there is no obligation to leave a gift to CPAWS, we hope you will consider this wonderful opportunity to secure our future.  For more information, please see

Giving Tuesday Nov. 30, 2021

Giving Tuesday is an international day dedicated to giving back that follows on the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

Follow us on social media to learn how you can participate with CPAWS. Together, we can make a big difference! 

Board members and executives

Two headshots of two women, one with dark hair and one with blonde hair.
Laura Colella is the president of the National Board of Trustees for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society; Sandra Schwartz is the national executive director

Sandra Schwartz

National Executive Director

Laura Colella

President, National Board of Trustees

John Grandy (ON)

Vice President

Lavinia Mohr (ON)

Treasurer & Chair, Finance Committee

Richard Paisley (BC)

Chair, Litigation Committee

Amber Walker (NS)

Chair, Governance Committee

Charles Côté (QC)

Jim Donohue (AB)

Nikita Lopoukhine (ON)

Ina Lucila (AB)

Donald McMurty (ON)

Kathy Scalzo (BC)

Jennifer Smith (QC)

Alex Tzannidakis (ON)

Erik Val (YT)

Denise Withers (BC)

Funding priorities

  • Parks and protected areas
  •  Ocean and freshwater
  • Wildlife and species at risk
  • Outdoor education and outreach
  • Climate Change

Get in touch

100 Gloucester St., Suite 600

Ottawa, ON

K2P 0A4

1-800-333-9453 |