Plans for Canada’s first true urban park were unveiled last Friday by the Conservative government in its throne speech. The Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, made the announcement as part of broader celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of our national parks system. The Rouge Valley straddles several municipalities in the Greater Toronto Area including Markham, Richmond Hill , Toronto and Whitchurch-Stouffville and encompasses over 10 000 acres of creeks, forests, meadows and watersheds. The area has been described as a prime example of Carolinian forest, which has recently been threatened by increasing urban encroachment. The new designation brings with it added funding for patrols, educational programs and conservation efforts that will introduce a new generation to Canada’s parks. More details will emerge in the coming months as relevant stakeholders meet to discuss the future transition of the park.
Recently several planting events have taken place within the Rouge Valley. In late March, The Canadian Muslim Fellowship of Scouting participated with the GTC Scout and Guide groups in their annual Tree Planting and Wildlife Habitat Restoration Day at the Bob Hunter Memorial Park; a 500 acre parcel of environmentally sensitive land that was recently added to the Rouge Park. In late April, a joint collaboration called Plating Faithfully was formed between the Islamic Foundation of Toronto, Darchei Noam Synagogue, and Friends of the Rouge Watershed to help promote environmental stewardship and sustainability through interfaith dialogue. The event exchanged various faith-based perspectives on the environment and closed with joint planting ceremony in the Rouge Valley.
For more information on the Rouge Park, please visit: http://www.rougepark.com/
To learn more about current conservation efforts, please visit: http://www.rvcc.ca/