Some Rouge Park proponents are stumbling over the term ‘environmental integrity’ as it applies to the current Rouge Park. The term is generally understood to mean land virtually untouched or unmarked by humankind and these-thinking proponents ignore the fact that Rouge National Urban Park cannot possibly be considered as úntouched’, particularly when one considers that the earliest North Americans have been treading on the land in the Rouge Valley for some 10,000 tears, regularly leaving their mark: such as with organized burial sites, evidence of campsites, as a carrying place from Lake Ontario north, and the like. Today there are three rail lines crossing the park area, many roads and a corridor of hydro lines- don’t forget the more modern settlement efforts starting in the early 180o’s, many of these dwellings still being utilized.
But although the valley has been ‘touched’ regularly and many times, there are still 1700 species of plants, fish, birds, mammals, insects, reptiles and amphibians. Did I mention salmon? And some good farmland, too!
It is still wild down there in the valley! Hence our usage of the term ‘Wild in the City’ as it applies to the Rouge. In the City it is, but you wouldn’t know it when you are down deep in there. When the Arctic Wolves escaped their pen at the Metro Zoo (surrounded by the park) a number of years ago they were quite happy to remain in the valley until re-captured. You can’t fool a wolf. It is still wild in the valley!