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2006 News

Rouge Park Award Given To Premier McGuinty

Markham – Premier Dalton McGuinty was the enthusiastic recipient of this year’s Rouge Park Award today at a reception where he announced the new Bob Hunter Memorial Park. The Rouge Park Award is given to a member or members of the community who have made outstanding contributions to Rouge Park, Canada’s largest near urban wilderness park.

Gord Weeden, Chair of the Rouge Park Alliance, the board of directors for the Park, reflected on the Ontario government’s contributions: “Premier McGuinty’s leadership has resulted in a significant amount of new land added to Rouge Park, strong Provincial support for our management plans, and now the welcome addition of Bob Hunter Memorial Park as adjacent protected park land. Rouge Park would not be Canada’s largest near-urban wilderness park without the efforts of people like Premier McGuinty demonstrating their commitment to this special park. In recognition of his outstanding contributions to Rouge Park, it is my great pleasure to announce Premier Dalton McGuinty as the recipient of this year’s Rouge Park Award.”

"I'm pleased to accept this award on behalf of all the people in my government who are working hard to protect Ontario's natural spaces," said Premier McGuinty, "And I am pleased to dedicate this new park in the memory of Bob Hunter, who was not only a hero to me, but to millions of people around the world whose lives he touched through his writing, broadcasting and activism." This is the first Rouge Park Award to go to a provincial politician. Former Rouge Park Award recipients include the Honourable David Crombie, former MP and Mayor of Toronto, and Joyce Trimmer, former Mayor of Scarborough.

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Rouge Park Celebration Forest opens

Current friends and supporters of Rouge Park gathered on 10 June 2006 at a new memorial in Rouge Park, the Celebration Forest. Bob Hunter, Dr Frederick Urquhart and Dr Arthur Richardson were added to the list of nine individuals previously honoured for their contributions to the Park’s legacy during their lifetimes.

Some of the individuals whose lives are celebrated in this living memorial were politicians and activists. Others were researchers whose, work to understand and protect the natural heritage that the Park inherited, deserved recognition even if their work predated the 1995 creation of Rouge Park itself.

“Although Rouge Park is young, there is a rich history behind its creation,” said Gord Weeden, Chair of the Rouge Park Alliance, the Park’s board of directors. “Conservationists, citizen advocates, politicians and others worked to protect different aspects of the Park. Today, we fondly remember the lives of some of these people, and express our appreciation for their work.”

Other individuals honoured in the Celebration Forest are: Charles Sauriol, Ron Pratt, Brian Harrison, Frank Faubert, John Boyd, Robert Holland, Robert James, Murray Speirs and Patricia Brooks. The memorial concept in Rouge Park was created in 1996; this new Celebration Forest was built in November 2005 and this event was its official opening.

Read more about people honoured in the Celebration Forest

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