Created in 1911, Parks Canada is the world’s first national parks service dedicated to conservation.
Parks Canada will apply its rigorous, award-winning and innovative scientific approach to the management of Rouge National Urban Park. Parks Canada will draw on more than 100 years of experience to protect the Rouge’s natural ecosystems and cultural and agricultural landscapes, maintain native wildlife and ensure the health of those ecosystems.
While more than 75% of the Rouge’s landscape has been altered or disturbed, Parks Canada is committed to restoring native ecosystems in Rouge National Urban Park, including marshes, meadows, rivers, streams and Carolinian forests.
In collaboration with the urban park’s farming community, conservation groups, First Nations and community associations, Parks Canada will use leading-edge science to protect and recover endangered species, restore native forests, wetlands and meadows, enhance the health and productivity of park farmland, inventory and protect the Rouge’s archaeological and cultural heritage sites, and control invasive species in the park. Parks Canada will ensure the health of park ecosystems and native wildlife with a full suite of monitoring, assessment and reporting tools specifically developed for Rouge National Urban Park.
Early restoration efforts, included in the 15 ecosystem restoration projects announced on July 28, will focus on aquatic habitat along four tributaries of the Little Rouge Creek that will result in a doubling of wetlands and stream habitat over the next five years and long-term improvements to the health of the park’s ecosystems and agricultural lands. Planned improvements include increased filtration of sediments and nutrients to improve water quality, creation of habitat for birds, amphibians and fish, improved agricultural drainage to augment crop production, planting new hedgerows with native trees, and promoting wildlife that can be beneficial to agriculture such as pollinators, birds and snakes.
Additionally, Parks Canada is also beginning to work on ecological restoration projects with municipalities, environmental groups, local farmers and First Nations by reintroducing endangered turtles, making it easier for wildlife to cross park roads, and enhancing the health of agricultural wetlands.
For more info: Ecological Restoration Projects
Welcome areas in Rouge National Urban Park
The first welcome area in Rouge National Urban Park is located near the intersection of Reesor and Elgin Mills roads in Markham and will be temporarily housed in a Parks Canada oTENTik – a cross between a tent and a rustic cabin. Parks Canada’s oTENTik lodgings are popular across the country at national parks and national historic sites. The welcome area will host special events and educational programming. Parks Canada staff will be there to help visitors plan their trip to the national urban park and other Parks Canada locations across the country.
The new welcome area is the first of many enhanced visitor facilities planned for Rouge National Urban Park. Over the next several years, Parks Canada will expand the number of park welcome areas and facilities to include:
- Flagship visitor and education centres
- Orientation kiosks, trailhead maps and signage
- Welcome and park orientation signs at all major east-west and north-south nodes of the park, including in Toronto, Markham, Pickering and Uxbridge
- Interpretive panels and an expanded, connected, comprehensive trail system throughout the park connecting to all park communities in Toronto, Markham, Pickering and Uxbridge
For more info: www.pc.gc.ca/rouge