NEW POLL: 88% SUPPORT CREATION OF ROUGE NATIONAL PARK
Rouge Park Alliance calls on Federal Government to Realize the Full Potential of Rouge Park and Make it a National Park
September 24, 2010 - Almost nine of ten Eastern GTA residents surveyed favoured the idea of the Federal Government making Rouge Park Canada’s first urban national park, according to a Nanos Poll commissioned by the Rouge Park Alliance.
“This shows overwhelming public support for a national park,” said Rouge Park Alliance Chair, Alan Wells. “We are calling on the Federal Government to act and complete the potential of Rouge Park as the premier urban public greenspace in Southern Ontario.”
The poll found that key drivers for the public’s support for Rouge National Park were: the need for more and better greenspaces, support for national parks near urban areas, it would be a beneficial asset for the community, and it would enhance opportunities to enjoy the park.
“People know how important it is to make the most of the few greenspaces that are left in the GTA,” said Wells. “Seven million people live within an hour’s drive of the Rouge with hundreds of thousands more coming to the area in the coming years. Additionally, many of these residents are new Canadians whose first experience with a national park would be in Rouge Park. We owe it to those people to make the Rouge the best it can be – more and better trails, a park welcome centre, improved educational programs - and that means making it Canada’s first urban national park.”
The 10,000-acre Rouge Park is currently managed by the Rouge Park Alliance. The Alliance is a voluntary partnership consisting of 12 organizations, including all three levels of government and other Park stakeholders. The Park is a nationally significant ecological area located in the heart of the GTA combining nature and farms. To fully realize the potential of the Park, it needs new funding commitments and a new structure to give it stronger leadership. A national park would allow for the protection of this important natural area while supporting agriculture, cultural heritage and recreation.
To complete the vision of a Park from Lake Ontario to the Oak Ridges Moraine, the Alliance is also calling on the Federal Government to add 5,000 acres of Federal lands in Markham to the Park. In addition to strong public support, Rouge National Park has been endorsed by: Province of Ontario, City of Toronto, Town of Markham, Town of Richmond Hill, City of Pickering, Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, Region of Durham, and Region of York.
The poll was conducted in the seven ridings surrounding the Park: Oak Ridges-Markham, Ajax-Pickering, Pickering-Scarborough East, Scarborough Rouge River, Markham-Unionville, Scarborough-Guildwood and Whitby-Oshawa. It was completed by Nanos Research between June 21 and 23, 2010 and was based on a random telephone survey of 291 residents over the age of 18. The margin of accuracy is +/- 5.8% 19 times out of 20.
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For more information, contact:
Alan Wells, Chair, Rouge Park Alliance
(416) 460 -6706