The Heart of the Continent Partnership (HOCP) is a Canadian/American coalition of land managers and local stakeholders working together on cross-border projects that promote the economic, cultural and natural health of the lakes, forests and communities on the Ontario/Minnesota border. Representing a broad array of organizations, the partnership seeks to develop a common identity and sense of belonging.
HOCP explains the Heart of the Continent region: Spanning the international border between northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Ontario lies an international treasure: the largest expanse of public greenspace in the heart of North America.
This 5.5 million acre (2.2 million hectares) landscape comprises a blend of working forest, rugged scenery, pristine watersheds, abundant wildlife and outstanding biodiversity. Several separately managed natural areas are encompassed by this ecosystem at the “heart of the continent,” including Quetico Provincial Park, Superior National Forest (including the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness), Voyageurs National Park, Grand Portage National Monument and numerous Minnesota state forest lands and parks and Ontario provincial parks.
HOCP is currently partnering with National Geographic Society on a regional geotourism initiative, including a map and website. The goal is to increase visitorship, build support for the region, and build community among those who care for it.
Click here to read an article about the efforts of the Heart of the Continent in the Ely Echo