Our Story and Vision

Our Story

​Valerie McGrady was inspired to create Canada’s first Bravery Park after the passing of her son Corporal Mathew McCully. McCully was a member of Canada’s elite Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team (OMLT), responsible for training the Afghan National forces. On May 25, 2007 while conducting a joint Afghan-Canadian foot patrol near a village west of Kandahar city, McCully stepped on an improvised explosive device. Valerie’s son died not only trying to protect his country but training Afghan soldiers to protect their own. Valerie, her daughter Shannon, and the Bravery Park committee have since made it their mission to ensure  Canadian soldiers stay at the forefront of our minds.

​Our Vision

​Through this living and interactive project, Bravery Park promotes both awareness and understanding of the sacrifices and struggles our Canadian Forces undergo to promote peace here at home and worldwide.

 Create Awareness 
More soldiers committed suicide than died fighting in Afghanistan…

  • 158 Canadian Armed Forces members were killed in Afghanistan
  • more than 180 soldiers committed suicide

Due to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a lack of support and follow up care…

  •  2,250 of Canada’s veterans are homeless due to alcoholism, drugs and mental health.

Promote Education

Schools and community groups are invited to bring their students to Bravery Park for a tangible connection to some of our most recent international aid and peace keeping missions. Please see the Learn more  page to download educational resources as well as a park guide that explains the different features.

There is a link at the bottom of this page which you can use to book a guided tour.

Allergy Friendly Parks

The Bravery Park™ initiative was created by Peter Prakke, and the Orangeville location would not have been possible without the extreme generosity, kindness and compassion of the Prakke family.

Peter Prakke is a well-known horticulturalist from Ancaster, Ontario. Spurred on by the many international conflicts in which Canada is involved,  he was inspired to create allergy-friendly parks called “Bravery Parks”. These would act as a tribute to the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces for their courage, their dedication to freedom and in recognition of the sacrifices they have made to make this a better world for all of us.  Bravery Parks address the needs of the allergy sensitive with fewer pollen-triggered causes of allergies and asthma. 

Learn more about Peter and his Bravery Park initiative here. Peter’s knowledge and support is greatly appreciated.

Pictured below is Peter Prakke admiring the new park sign on opening day.