By Aasiya Hussain - Environmental ethics are inherent in Islam, and we’re blessed with the opportunity to fulfill this sacred trust with a natural gem right in our backyard; Rouge Park. Rouge Park encompasses 10,000 acres (over 40 km2) of protected park land in the Rouge River, Petticoat Creek and Duffins Creek watersheds of the Greater Toronto Area. It is 5,000 acres south of the Oak Ridges Moraine and is the only region linking the Ontario Greenbelt to Lake Ontario in the City of Toronto. With this landscape, Rouge Park provides an essential natural corridor and is now home to one of Canada’s last remaining Carolinian habitats, rare and vulnerable species, a provincially significant geologic feature, 10,000+ years of human history, and is a source of our drinking water.
Located in Canada’s most densely populated region, Rouge Park offers an oasis that reconnects urban communities with nature and outdoor recreation. Among these communities is a significant Muslim population residing in the Rouge, along with members of Canada’s beautifully diverse multi-faith and multicultural social fabric.
As Rouge Park becomes Canada’s first national urban park, it needs our collective help now more than ever. Please help leave a positive Canadian legacy that protects the Rouge’s ecological health, natural capital, natural and cultural heritage, and the rights of people in this region, including Canada’s Aboriginal peoples. Opportunities include:
Sept. 15: Tour de Greenbelt in Rouge Park.
Sept. 22: Friends of the Rouge Watershed’s community tree planting in Bob Hunter Memorial Park, Rouge Park.
Sept. 23, 2:30pm: The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup at Finch Meander in Rouge Park. Help keep our waters and natural environment healthy and sustainable. Spots are limited, please reserve yours by pre-registering today.
From now until Oct. 8, 2012: Help create The Rouge National Urban Park by reviewing the Park’s concept and submitting your feedback on-line to Parks Canada before their Oct. 8, 2012 deadline. Amplify your voice by sending a letter to your leaders for support.
- Rouge Park’s Update
- Rouge Park’s National Park Backgrounder
- Friends of the Rouge Watershed’s RNUP flyer and sample letter
- David Suzuki Foundations’ RNUP Info
- Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society’s Rouge Park Backgrounder
- “Visualizing Natural Capital in the Rouge” By Dr. Faisal Moola, David Suzuki Foundation
- “Canada’s Wealth of Natural Capital: Rouge National Park”, David Suzuki Foundation
UPDATE (October 10, 2012):
The following public meetings are now taking place to inform and seek input from residents regarding changes in the Rouge:
1) October 11, 2012 from 6:30-8:30pm: Beare Road Park Master Plan Public Meeting at Blessed Mother Teresa Catholic High School.
2) October 15, 2012 from 7:00-9:00pm: Rouge National Urban Park Community Meeting at the Scarborough Civic Centre.
Aasiya Hussain is an environmental steward, community catalyst, and award-winning socio-