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Natural Heritage Projects

Rouge Park's Natural Heritage projects range from from tree and shrub planting, to scientific research, to streambank rehabilitation and wetland creation. Would you like to learn more?

Projects are prioritized according to the Rouge Park Management Plan and our Natural Heritage Action Plan. Funding is available to community groups and individuals to implement projects which meet Park priorities.

What are some examples of projects that Rouge Park has funded?

Most groups and individuals receiving Rouge Park funds combine their financial and volunteer resources with private sector and other public sector financial resources to increase the overall value of the project. Grant amounts vary, not all groups receive full funding as requested.

A committee of advisors and experts from various disciplines related to ecological restoration reviews the project applications and makes recommendations to the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority for approval.


  1. Applications received
  2. Initial staff review
  3. Supplementary information requested of applicants where applicable
  4. Committee review and prioritization of funds allotted
  5. Recommendation to Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
  6. Toronto and Region Conservation Authority approval
  7. Staff contacts applicants to advise of success
  8. Staff monitoring of project progress through official reports, site visits, etc.

Please read each of the following documents, then complete and return the application by October 22, 2012. Please note this deadline has been extended.

  • Application Information
  • 2013 Heritage Projects Funding Application

    Final reporting forms for 2013 Rouge Park Natural Heritage Projects

  • Final Reporting Form
  • Maintenance Reporting Form

    Small Grants
    Rouge Park offers small grants of up to $1500 for projects which are smaller in scale, and can be started quickly. Applications are reviewed by staff, with special advisers as necessary. There is a simpler application process than for Heritage Projects, and applications are accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed by staff throughout the year.

    Sample Projects
    Projects on Land
    Tree planting of large areas by has been done by volunteers. The Park has almost completed all of the reforestation projects in the designated areas in Toronto, and will be doing large-scale planting of the Park lands in Markham.

    The volunteer community group "10,000 Trees for the Rouge Valley" has been bringing together over 1000 volunteers a year on a single day to plant trees to reforest Rouge Park.

    Projects on and in Water
    One of the Park's main natural heritage objectives is to increase the amount of wetlands in the Park. Another major goal is to improve water quality of the streams in the Rouge River system. Both wetlands and watercourses have been negatively impacted by human habitation in the area over the past 200 years. We also monitor water quality to ensure that projects are successful and the streams are improving.

    Community volunteers planting native shoreline vegetation to help restore the wetlands at Rouge Beach, which contains over half of the remaining coastal marshes in the Toronto area.

    Morningside Creek streambank stabilization, implemented by the not-for-profit group "Ontario Streams", will help to improve water quality by controlling erosion and enhancing aquatic habitat.

    Volunteers from the community group "Citizen Scientists" monitor the water quality of the streams and rivers.

    Research Projects
    The Park also funds research which helps us to make better decisions about ecological restoration priorities and approaches to implementation.

    We funded the Toronto Zoo to fit turtles living in the Park with radio-tracking devices in order to study their nesting habits over a number of years. This gives the Park consistent information about the turtles' habitat and breeding needs.

    Although lush and vibrantly green, Dog Strangling Vine (Cynanchum rossicum) is not a healthy plant for the Park. It is an invasive species which out-competes native vegetation, reducing our local biodiversity. We have supported research and pilot projects to eradicate and control this problem plant.

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