Camp Suzuki: CultureLink Settlement Services (Toronto) | Camp Suzuki | What you can do | David Suzuki Foundation
Photo: Camp Suzuki: CultureLink Settlement Services (Toronto)

Newcomer and First Nation teens plant roots in the Rouge

What do you get when you pair newcomer teens from eleven countries with youth from a remote BC First Nation, put them in a field, and add a bit of sunshine, hundreds of saplings and a whole lot shovels? Answer: A great day in the Rouge.

In April, CultureLink Settlement Services held an great tree planting event in Markham, Ontario, in a part of the future Rouge National Park called Bob Hunter Memorial Park. The Haida youth spoke eloquently about their profound connection to nature and the importance of protecting our natural heritage for future generations. They then had some fun getting their hands and boots dirty with their hosts, who originally hail from Colombia, Peru, Mexico, St. Vincent, Congo, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, India, Tibet, Thailand and Nepal.

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About the team

CultureLink is a settlement organization that is both old and new. Our services connect cultures to build welcoming communities.

Team: Kristin Schwartz, Fei Tang, Carolina G'ala

Who: CultureLink Settlement Services is a non-profit community-based agency dedicated to facilitating the independence and full participation of newcomers in Toronto's diverse community. CultureLink assists newcomers to Canada in building their social networks and community connections, and finding employment. Their 50 staff speak over 30 languages and serve thousands of newcomers each year.

Why: CultureLink staff joined Camp Suzuki because they have adopted the challenge of integrating environmental issues into all of their programs; something they call "green settlement". They recognize that many newcomers bring with them sustainable habits and ways of life. They hope to encourage their clients to retain these important values, while developing a new relationship with local natural spaces and the outdoors as part of their settlement process.

What: CultureLink has begun exploring the possibility of hosting tree planting event, nature walk and a campout at Glen Rouge Campground. This family-friendly excursion would include cycling, hiking, canoeing and other activities to introduce local ecosystems and flora and fauna to the participants.