Our Camp Suzuki in the Rouge program celebrates the Rouge River watershed — a wilderness gem in the heart of the Greater Toronto Area where we are working to establish Canada's first urban national park. To get local communities engaged in the creation of the park, we are inspiring them to create projects that connect residents with this natural treasure.
The Foundation has recruited and trained 11 incredible teams to design and launch unique Rouge-related activities. Here are just five of the teams and their plans.
CultureLink Settlement Services is a non-profit agency that facilitates the independence and full participation of newcomers in Toronto's diverse community. The team will be hosting a spring tree-planting event, nature walk, and a campout at Glen Rouge Campground. The tree-planting will bring together 17 new Canadian youth from 11 different countries with 17 aboriginal youth and 17 seniors to share stories about their cultures, history, and future.
Rouge Valley Naturalists
Rouge Valley Naturalists is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to protecting, preserving, and restoring the natural heritage of the Rouge Valley. Team RVN is keen to work on two projects: an in-class butterfly-rearing program and an outdoor education program customized for people with disabilities.
Dunbarton High School
The Dunbarton High School team includes students from the school's environmental club. Their goal is to celebrate Rouge Park's forests, beaches, and wetlands by holding a hiking event in the spring and a fun yoga event in the summer. They hope to reach students within their school and at local elementary schools, and they will be partnering with nearby yoga studios to get youth stretching in the park.
Rouge Park Hikers
The Hikers lead two-hour nature walks for thousands of residents in the area each year. They will reach out to local residents, especially new Canadians, inviting them out for monthly hikes and a special Portrait in the Park day where families can have their photos taken with the Rouge as a backdrop. The Hikers intend to help these families learn about local flora and fauna and develop an appreciation for how nature can enrich their lives.
Theatre and Performance Studies University of Toronto-Scarborough Campus
With a group of eight undergraduate students in the Theatre and Performance Studies program at UTSC, the team will develop and original piece of theatre about Rouge Park. More than a "straight-up" education primer on environmentalism, it will connect the audience with the park in a creative and inventive way.