Dig in! Celebrate Earth Day
in support of Rouge Park
photo by Bob
On Earth Day, April 22, 10,0000 Trees For The
a volunteer organization dedicated to restoring natural habitat in
the Rouge Valley watershed, will be holding its annual tree
planting. This year marks their eighteenth consecutive year.
site that will be planted is in the Bur Oak area, on the northeast
corner of the Markham by-pass (now called Donald Cousens Parkway)
and 9th Line.
Rouge Park ecosystem is home to a wide variety of plants, birds,
mammals, fish, amphibians and reptiles. Each year 10,000 Trees
For The Rouge Valley chooses a site that has been disrupted by
urban development, erosion and pollution and sets itself the goal of
restoring it and to improving the overall ecological health of the
10,000 Trees is the largest volunteer group of its kind in
Canada. Over the last seventeen years, the group has planted over
125,000 trees and restored 125 acres of land. With eighteen years
of experience, they have the organization of the event down to a
science. Of course, success depends on thorough advance planning,
and that begins a year ahead of the planting date. Fundraising must
be carried on because, contrary to what is often thought, all the
saplings that are planted have to be purchased. They are not
First of all, the site must be studied and decisions made about the
type of trees and shrubs best suited to it. The soil is analysed
and the already existing vegetation on the site is observed.
variety of native trees and shrubs are then selected, based on which
ones are best suited to the conditions on the site. Naturally,
hardiness is essential. The ability to produce fruit and nuts is
also considered as this will also attract bird and animal life.
vegetation plan is then drawn up, laying out where each species is
to be planted.
photo by Bob
Habitat structures are also set up, such as hollowed-out trees and
old logs that will provide perching, nesting and sheltering spots
Once the planting is done, the organization continues to maintain
the site for three years, after which it should be self-sustaining.
the preparatory is done by volunteers. And, of course, 10,000
Trees rely on volunteers coming out on April 22 to do the actual
planting. No advance registration is required. You can just arrive
and they will put you to work. Bring a spade. The planting begins
at 9:00 a.m. and, if all goes well, and the weather cooperates
(predictions are good for this Sunday), all the saplings should be
in the ground by mid-afternoon. Volunteers can come when they want
and stay as long as they want but, of course, the earlier, and the
longer, the better.
previous years, an average of between 1,200 and 1,500 people have
participated in the planting day. This can include individuals and
families. But it also involves groups such as boy scouts and girl
guides. Groups of employees from a number of commercial companies
also contribute to the success of the day.
When you arrive, go first to the Registration
Tent from where you will be taken by a planting manager to one of
the many locations on the site where a supply of saplings has been
placed. The planting managers will instruct the groups in how to
plant the trees and will stay with them until everyone has the hang
of it, and then will return to the Registration Tent to pick up a
new group of volunteers.
Hard work builds up an appetite. Around 11:30 a.m. yet another
group of volunteers will put hamburgers on. So, no one will go
You donít need to be an expert. You just need to be interested
in reforestation and in preserving and enhancing Rouge Park, one
of the biggest natural spaces within an urban area in North
For more information, contact 10,000 Trees For The Rouge
Valley at 905-880-9116 or visit their website at