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Rouge Days: Big Impact, Big Excitement, Big Family Fun

May 31, 2012

MEDIA ADVISORY

For Immediate Distribution

 

(Toronto-May 30) - There's so much to do at the 3rd annual Rouge Days celebration, which raises awareness of the people, places, history, flora and fauna of the Rouge River Watershed with over 23 fun-filled, family oriented events. The celebration, newly extended to feature 10 days of events across Toronto, Markham, Richmond Hill, Pickering and Stouffville, will include a wide variety of activities from nature hikes, a farmer's market cook-off, exploration of rare local plants and animals, a historic bus tour, tree planting, habitat creation and more!

The Rouge River, which flows from the Oak Ridges Moraine, through what will soon beCanada's first urban national park, Rouge Valley, and into Lake Ontario, is one of the six GTA watersheds identified by the International Joint Commission of Canada and the U.S. as an Area of Concern (AOC) on the Great Lakes. Though Rouge Valley Park was recently promised a $145 million endowment by the Federal government, there is still much work to be done along the Rouge River, much of which is impacted by heavy development and pollution. This includes restoration, and fixing existing environmental damage; protection, and preventing further urban development and environmental stress; and appreciation, encouraging residents to enjoy one of our City's greatest natural gifts.

When:

June 7 - June 16

Where: Various Locations

Markham:

Thursday, June 7th

Rouge Days Kick-Off
5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. @ Markham Museum
Come celebrate the 3rd Annual Rouge Days with live music, great local food and a glass of local wine!

Explore the NEW interactive exhibits in Markham Museum's LEED certified building. Meet the Blacksmith busy at work, tour the on-site gardens and take home a native plant. Learn how to keep our "Great Lakes Great" and network with the diverse group of people working on environmental efforts within the Rouge River watershed.

This event is made possible through the generous support of AECOM.

The Markham Museum is located at 9350 Markham Road in Markham. The event is open to the general public, aged 19 and over. Admission is free but pre-registration is required. To register call the Markham contact centre at 905-477-5530.

 

Stouffville:

Friday, June 8th

Naturalist for a Day

10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. @ Willowgrove Outdoor Education Centre

Join us to become a naturalist for the day. Travel through our 100 acre property to explore plants and animals, dip a net in the pond to classify living things, and use our tree guides to survey our woodlot.  This family outing will be hands on, educational and FUN! Meet around the campfire at lunch - please pack a lunch - we will provide the s'mores!

Please pre-register your family - contact Laura at laura@willowgrove.ca or 905-640-2127.

 

Thursday, June 14th

Local Food Cook-Off at the Downtown Stouffville Farmers' Market

2:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. @ Downtown Stouffville

The Downtown Stouffville Farmers' Market is a locally grown, producer-focused Market. Join us between 3:00 and 4:00 pm for a local food cook-off in celebration of Rouge Days! Taste the dishes prepared by your favourite local chefs and vote for the winner.

Located at Park Drive & Main Street in Stouffville. For more information, please contact Anna Rose at 905-640-0749 or anna.rose@townofws.ca.

 

Bruce's Mill Hike

7:00 p.m. @ Bruce's Mill Conservation Area

Join local naturalist Fred Robins for a tour around historic Bruce's Mill Conservation Area. Please dress for the weather - we walk rain or shine!

Bruce's Mill is located at 3291 Stouffville Road in Stouffville. Registration is FREE but required as space is limited - to register please contact Anna Rose at 905-640-0749 or anna.rose@townofws.ca.

 

Toronto:

Friday, June 8th

Rouge Park Guided Walk
8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. @ Rouge Park
Learn more about nature and wildlife in the Rouge Valley with our friendly and fun team of leaders on a 2 hour guided walk. Dress for the weather, we walk rain or shine! Wear boots or shoes designed for the trail, and bring binoculars, camera, water and snacks.  Plan to arrive 10 minutes ahead of the start time.
Visit www.rougepark.com/hike for hike details and meeting point. Or call us Monday to Thursday at (905)713-3184.

 

Saturday, June 9th

Rouge Park Guided Walk
9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. @ Rouge Park

Rouge Park Guided Walk
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. @ Rouge Park

 

Sunday, June 10th

Rouge Park Guided Walk
9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. @ Rouge Park

 

Underwater Lives of the Rouge

10:00 a.m. @ Rouge Valley Conservation Centre

Join Citizen Scientists to learn about aquatic life in the Rouge River and what these organisms tell us about the health and function of our landscape.

Meet at the Rouge Valley Conservation Centre at 1749 Meadowvale Road at Zoo Road.  TTC: Bus 85 or 86 via Toronto Zoo. Registration is FREE but required as space is limited - to register email info@rvcc.ca.

 

Rouge Park Guided Walk
12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. @ Rouge Park

 

"That's Wet!" Wetlands Walk
1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. @ Rouge Valley Conservation Centre

Join us to learn more about the plants and animals that call our local wetlands home! Dress for the weather, we walk rain or shine. Meet at the Rouge Valley Conservation Centre at 1749 Meadowvale Road at Zoo Road.  TTC: Bus 85 or 86 via Toronto Zoo. Registration is FREE but required as space is limited - to register email info@rvcc.ca.

 

Rouge Park Guided Walk
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. @ Rouge Park

 

Monday, June 11th

Getting to Know our Locally Rare Species

7:00 p.m. @ Rouge Valley Conservation Centre

Spend and evening learning how to identify locally rare species and their habitats. Learn about proper data recording, reporting methodologies, the presence of locally rare species, and their distribution and abundance.

Meet at the Rouge Valley Conservation Centre at 1749 Meadowvale Road at Zoo Road.  TTC: Bus 85 or 86 via Toronto Zoo. Registration is FREE but required as space is limited - to register email info@rvcc.ca.

 

Tuesday, June 12th

Reptiles of the Rouge Walk with the Toronto Zoo

10:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon @ Beare Road Wetlands

Join staff from the Toronto Zoo's Adopt-A-Pond Programme for a leisurely hike through the Beare Road Wetlands. Learn about the reptiles that call the Rouge Valley home, identify local species and their habitat. Find out how to help a turtle on the road and what to do if you find an injured one. Binoculars are encouraged.

Meet outside the Rouge Valley Conservation Centre at 1749 Meadowvale Road. Registration is FREE but required as space is limited - to register please contact Crystal Robertson at 416-392-5999 or crobertson@torontozoo.ca.

 

Wednesday, June 13th

Rouge Park Guided Walk
9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. @ Rouge Park

 

"Adventures on Steeles Avenue" Church Luncheon and Historic Bus Tour
12:00 p.m. @ Rouge Valley Mennonite Church

Take a step back in time - hear the stories behind the places you drive by every day, and discover hidden nooks teeming with history. The members of the Rouge Valley Mennonite Church invite you to attend a luncheon with storyteller George Reesor, followed by a historical driving tour hosted by Markham Historian, Lorne Smith, and George Duncan, Senior Heritage Planner from the Town of Markham. 

The Rouge Valley Mennonite Church is located at 7452 Reesor Road in Markham. Space is limited - please RSVP by calling Pat Binks at 905-294-6242.

 

U of T Scarborough Farmers' Market

3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. @ U of T Scarborough

Our Farmers' Market provides an opportunity for local farmers, producers, and artisans to connect directly with the local community. In celebration of Rouge Days, the Market will be offering special family-friendly programming.

Located at 1265 Military Trail in Toronto. For more information, please visit http://blog.utsc.utoronto.ca/farmersmarket/, or contact Billi Jo Cox at 416-208-2719.

 

Friday, June 15th

BioBlitz Visitor's Centre

4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. @ Rouge Valley Conservation Centre

Join local experts as they comb Rouge Park for a 24 hour marathon of biodiversity cataloguing. Go to the Rouge Valley Conservation Centre for live updates throughout the day, and meet some of the experts that are working to discover the rich abundance of species found in the Rouge Park.

The Rouge Valley Conservation Centre is located at 1749 Meadowvale Road at Zoo Road.  TTC: Bus 85 or 86 via Toronto Zoo, alight opposite the Zoo, and walk east. For more information please email info@rvcc.ca.

 

 

Saturday, June 16th

"Get to Know" BioBlitz

10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. @ Toronto Zoo

This fun, family, youth-focused BioBlitz is all about testing your I.D. skills and connecting with nature through cool art activities developed by iconic artist and naturalist Robert Bateman. All participants must be 10 years of age or older (any participant under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult) and physically able to move through areas off of established paths.

The Toronto Zoo is located North of Hwy 401 on Meadowvale Road, Toronto. TTC: Bus 85 or 86.  Registration is FREE but required as there are only 60 spots available - to register please email programs@torontozoo.ca.

 

BioBlitz Visitor's Centre

10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. @ Rouge Valley Conservation Centre

This is day 2 of the 24 hour BioBlitz! Local experts will be completing a 24 hour marathon of biodiversity cataloguing. Go to the Rouge Valley Conservation Centre for live updates throughout the day, and meet some of the experts that are working to discover the rich abundance of species found in the Rouge Park.

The Rouge Valley Conservation Centre is located at 1749 Meadowvale Road at Zoo Road.  TTC: Bus 85 or 86 via Toronto Zoo, alight opposite the Zoo, and walk east. For more information please email info@rvcc.ca.

***All Rouge Days event participants will receive a special invitation to perform a self-guided family BioBlitz at the Toronto Zoo on June 16th. Completed activity sheets will be entered into a draw to win a special BioBlitz prize pack. (Zoo admission fees still apply if you have not registered for the "Get to Know" BioBlitz).

 

Richmond Hill:

Saturday, June 9th

Bulk Up Your Soil

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. @ Phyllis Rawlinson Park

Learn everything you need to know about backyard composting, nature's own fertilizer and soil conditioner. Make your own batch of compost tea - a natural energy drink for your garden!

Meet at the Community Garden Site at Phyllis Rawlinson Park, 11715 Leslie Street in Richmond Hill (the gardens on the south side). Registration is FREE but required as space is limited - to register contact Mildred Ho at 416-596-1495x303 or email mho@evergreen.ca

 

Pickering:

Saturday, June 9th

Western Gateway Habitat Creation

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. @ Western Gateway, Pickering

Join in family-friendly activities stationed along the waterfront trail including bird box building, planting a wildflower or creating pollinator habitat to take home.

Follow Rosebank Road south over the train tracks, turn right onto Bella Vista Drive. For more information please contact Michelle Pearce at 905-420-4660 x2043 or mpearce@pickering.ca

 

Toronto and Region Conservation

With over 50 years of experience, Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) helps people understand, enjoy and look-after the natural environment. Our vision is for The Living City®, where human settlement can flourish forever as part of nature's beauty and diversity.  For more information, call 416-661-6600 or visit us at www.trca.on.ca

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Media Contacts

David Svaluto, Toronto and Region Conservation 416-660-0638; dsvaluto@trca.on.ca

Rowena Calpito, Toronto and Region Conservation 416.661.6600 ext 5632; rcalpito@trca.on.ca

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Media contact:

Elizabeth Oakley
Tel: 416-661-6600 ext 5856
media@trca.on.ca

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