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Bark of the Tree

Bark of the Tree

In this Issue:

  • Weak legislation introduced for Rouge National Urban Park
  • Management Plan released - Voice your concerns at Public Consultations
  • Community Events
  • Note from our Summer Students

Legislation Introduced for Rouge National Urban Park

As we know, the ecological significance and public benefits of Rouge Park warrant the creation of a healthy and sustainable 100 km2 National Rouge Park.
It is commendable that Prime Minister Harper's government has announced plans to create a 53 km2 Rouge National Urban Park (RNUP).
Unfortunately, in June 2014, Prime Minister Harper's government introduced weak legislation and a draft management plan which would actually undermine existing Rouge Park, Greenbelt, Oak Ridges Moraine and Great Lakes Water Quality Improvement Plans.
Ecological integrity is the first priority of park management, under Canada National Park's Act, Ontario's Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves  Act and existing Rouge Park Management Plans. However, the draft RNUP legislation only requires that the Federal Minister of the Environment "take into consideration” the protection of natural systems in managing the park.
  1. Attending the upcoming RNUP public consultation meetings and asking that ecological integrity and watershed health be given top priority;
  2. Providing your valued feedback by completing our short survey;
  3. Emailing /writing to the Prime Minister, the Federal Environment Minister and your local MP to ask that ecological integrity and watershed health be given top priority in the RNUP legislation and management plan.
Amendments to the RNUP legislation and Management Plan are needed to:
  1. Prioritize ecological integrity and watershed health;
  2. Incorporate and implement the ecological vision and policies of existing Rouge Park, Ontario Greenbelt & ORM Conservation Plans, and Great Lakes Water Quality Improvement Plans;
  3. Fully utilize conservation and watershed science to create an ecologically healthy and sustainable 100 km2 National Rouge Park;
  4. Respect First Nation rights and interests.
Troubling changes with respect to Canada's irreplaceable National Parks were highlighted in a recent report published by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.

Public Consultation for Management Plan 

Prime Minister Harper's government is proposing a RNUP Management Plan which would actually undermine the Provincial Greenbelt Plan and Rouge Park "main ecological corridor" and the scientific targets established for protecting the Great Lakes, watershed health, the Park, and surrounding communities. 
Please participate in the upcoming RNUP meetings to voice your concerns:
September 9, 2014 - Markham 
September 10, 2014 - Scarborough
September 16, 2014 - Pickering 
September 18, 2014 - Downtown Toronto

The draft RNUP Management Plan fails to outline:
  • a long-term ecological vision for the park which is consistent with the existing Rouge Park vision;
  • ecological integrity objectives, indicators and restoration targets;
  • the protection, connection and restoration of a natural habitat system for improved water quality, biological diversity, and habitat for rare and endangered species;
  • how science, park management and monitoring tools will be used to achieve a level of public use which respects the park's ecological integrity and carrying capacity;
  • the strategic steps necessary to transition from pesticide-dependent industrial agriculture to ecological sound farming on public lands within the park.

Park Plan Takes Step Backwards

"If the ecological features and policies of approved Greenbelt, Oak Ridges Moraine, Rouge Park and Rouge Watershed Plans are omitted, the Rouge National Urban Park Management Plan will represent a huge step backwards in terms of water quality, ecological health, biological diversity and the public enjoyment of the Park."  -- Jim Robb, General Manager, FRW

Community Events:

Malvern Food Market- Malvern Library Plaza, 30 Sewells Rd. Dates:

  Saturday, Aug. 9, 1-5pm
  Thursday, Aug. 14, 4-8pm
  Thursday, Aug. 21, 4-8pm

Benefit for Camp Onakawana - Speaker Joseph Boydon, author of "The Orenda" Wed.Sept. 24, 7:30 pm, West Hill United Church - 62 Orchard Park Dr. All proceeds support Camp Onakawana, for kids in the far North. Tickets $20 - call 416-282-8566.

Society for Ecological Restoration AGM - FRW will be presenting on our 20 years of restoration experience at this year's Ontario SER General Meeting. Sept. 15-16

Notes from the Field

It is fair to say that our summer working for Friends of the Rouge Watershed has been quite an eventful one.  Between keeping up with the planning processes of Rouge National Urban Park and the ongoing ecological maintenance of our restoration sites, Robbie and I are becoming quite versed in what it takes to protect the Rouge Watershed. Having spent two months with FRW we’ve had our share of exciting nature sightings, mysterious allergic reactions, fierce battles with hoards of red ants, all while waging war against the dreaded invasive species of Ontario. We’re looking forward to see what our next month holds.

-- Steph & Robbie (FRW Summer Students)

Parks Canada Public Consultation:
September 9, 2014
7 pm @ Markham Museum
9350 Markham Rd
September 10, 2014
7 pm @ Royal Canadian Legion Branch 58
45 Lawson Road
September 16, 2014
7 pm @ Pickering Recreation Complex, O'Brien Room
1867 Valley Farm Rd
September 18, 2014
7 pm @ Art Gallery of Ontario, Jackman Hall
317 Dundas St West


We've had volunteers coming out all summer long to help us with stewarding our restoration sites and public outreach events. Thank you!
Want to volunteer? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on opportunities! Or email

Please help 

Important changes are happening in our beloved Rouge Watershed. FRW needs your help to continue to be a strong voice for nature. 

Our work is not possible without you. Please help us to continue our work for healthy ecosystems, watersheds and communities by making a donation today. Thank you!


FRW will be holding a public fundraiser with a photo contest, silent auction and prizes! 

Join us for 
Fall for the Rouge
Sat. Oct. 18 7pm @ the Olde Stone Cottage Pub

Tickets on sale in Sept. Email if you're interested in attending.
Copyright © 2014 Friends of the Rouge Watershed, All rights reserved.
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