On Oct. 30, 2020, MPP Vijay Thanigasalam (Scarborough—Rouge Park) recognized the progress of a joint tree planting initiative between Metrolinx, Parks Canada, and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) at Rouge National Urban Park.

Funding for this planting initiative is the start of a larger proactive Metrolinx effort to fund reforestation efforts that will increase the overall tree count in the region. Thanks to Metrolinx’s funding for this initiative, approximately 4,800 trees and 7,700 shrubs will be planted in Rouge National Urban Park by Parks Canada and the TRCA over the coming months. Parks Canada and the TRCA, as well as other conservation and community partners, are also collaborating on several restoration initiatives within Rouge National Urban Park.

“Parks Canada is proud to work with our partners and community stakeholders on collaborative restoration and conservation initiatives in Rouge National Urban Park, including tree planting and reforestation work outlined in the park’s management plan,” said Omar Mcdadi, Field Unit Superintendent, Rouge National Urban Park. “Since 2015 we have planted more than 113,000 trees and shrubs in the park with our partners and we look forward to watching this number continue to grow in the years to come.”

As part of the establishment of Rouge National Urban Park, Parks Canada and Indigenous partners formed the Rouge National Urban Park First Nations Advisory Circle. The Advisory Circle is comprised of representatives from 10 First Nations with an expressed interest, and historic and cultural connection to the area of the park. To date, Parks Canada has worked collaboratively with Circle members on a number of important initiatives, including archaeological fieldwork and visitor experience initiatives, as well as restoration projects like this.