The environmental problems that we face on our planet are complex. As a result, information about these issues can sometimes be overwhelming to digest, especially when we are faced with so many other priorities in our busy daily lives.
I've come to realize, as a scientist, that most of us digest complex information better if it is presented visually.
So, we've recently partnered with the students and faculty at OCAD University in Toronto to unlock the environmental statistics that we used in our new report out today about the natural capital wealth of the future Rouge National Park — Canada's first urban National Park.
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Under the guidance of instructor Linda Montgomery, four students worked with the David Suzuki Foundation team in Toronto to interpret the academic exercise of calculating non-market economic values for the benefits we receive from nature, and communicate them through elegant designs.
The resulting designs present our research on the ecological benefits of the new Rouge National Park in a far more compelling way, than just cold hard statistics buried in the pages of a research study.
We encourage you to check out all 16 of the designs below, each visualizing a specific ecosystem service provided by the forests, fields and wetlands in the Rouge. Big thanks to OCAD University, Linda and students Alex Gebhardt, Bianca Channer, Lauren Livingston and Anton Mwewa.
And if you happen to be looking for a place to get your hands dirty and plant your own National Park legacy, our friends at RONA are helping put trees in the Rouge this weekend. Sign up for the Saturday September 12th tree plant in Bob Hunter Memorial Park here.
Also, if you haven't yet, please be sure to submit your comments to Parks Canada about the proposed Rouge National Park. You can fill out their brief online survey until October 8th 2012.