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Rouge Watershed Projects & Plans

2008 has been an exciting year for Rouge Park with the approval of two new plans designed to further the efforts in restoring and enhancing the Park for visitors and inhabitants alike.

Greenbelt Plan

The Greenbelt Plan identifies a 600m wide corridor for the Little Rouge River as the main ecological corridor between Lake Ontario and the southerly boundary of Oak Ridges Moraine Area, as well as several other Rouge River tributaries, in recognition of the longstanding commitment to establishing Rouge Park.

The Heritage Appreciation and Visitor Experience (HAVE)

The Heritage Appreciation and Visitor Experience (HAVE) Plan is an exciting new initiative that guides as Rouge Park introduces a visitor-focused model for Park enhancement. HAVE is a suite of programmes, activities and services that can assist Rouge Park and its partners and stakeholders in achieving the Park's mission, vision and goals.

The Heritage Appreciation and Visitor Experience consists of education and interpretation programmes delivered by professional educators, plus the signs, brochures, booklets, and websites that inform and orient Park users. It also inspires them to care and engages and involves them in the stewardship of the Park.

The Heritage Appreciation and Visitor Experience provides visitors and supporters of the park with opportunities to explore, understand, appreciate and participate in the stewardship of it's natural and cultural heritage. Many of its initiatives enhance public awareness of our relationship to and dependence upon the natural world, and our connections with the past.

New Habitat

An old drainage ditch, visible on aerial photography, told the tale of past efforts to drain a marsh for agriculture near Old Finch Avenue and Reesor Road. Despite these efforts, the land continued to flood, aquatic plants would sprout, and waterfowl would occasionally visit. The marsh was not ready to give up.

Over the past year Rouge Park, assisted by Toronto and Region Conservation and Friends of the Rouge watershed, worked to give the marsh another chance. Each group offered its specialized skills,surveying the site, examining soils, planting vegetation, and installing a new dam which resulted in the revitalization of the marsh. As work progressed on the site, herons, ducks and wild turkeys were often spotted, perhaps curious about the new habitat unfolding before them.

These restoration efforts are only the initial phase of the renewed wetland. Rouge Park plans to continue with plantings and site maintenance, offering both people and animals an opportunity to be a part of this old marsh's new history.

More Than 5,000 Birds Spotted During Bird Count

Dozens of volunteers emerged from their warm homes one early Sunday morning to participate in Rouge Park's 5th Annual Winter Bird Count. The keen observers were able to spot over 5000 birds from 58 different species, including owls, wild turkeys and a variety of hawks. Birds that typically migrate, such as robins, bluebirds and red-winged blackbirds, were also seen.