Thank you to those who supported us on Giving Tuesday. Every donation goes to support the work to protect, restore and promote Rouge Park. We raised $288.20 so far. You can still contribute here.
It is an exciting time for Rouge Park as we look forward to the building of the new Pistons funded Recreation Center and continue our stewardship and planning for the park. We greatly appreciate the 50 plus people who wrote letters to the city urging them to preserve the oak trees as they plan the new building. The City finally responded to our concerns and met with our board of directors in late November. While they will not change the location for the center, they agreed to try to minimize tree loss, look into using some of the wood for the center, and plant five 2-3 inch caliper (or larger) trees for every tree lost. The loss of the trees could have been averted with earlier community involvement and communication. We are dedicated to improving our communication with the city and community going forward.
We are continuing to hold volunteer work days in the park into December and invite you to join us. Volunteers are making a dent in the invasive species problem and several bridges have been built to restore the Ma'iingan Wildwood Trail. Internally, the consulting firm, Goaltrac, is working with us to develop a staffing and funding plan. Our contractor from JH Solutions continues to work with us to engage people in programming and providing feedback on plans for the central core of Rouge Park for our KIP-D+ grant. We are hoping for snow in January as we are planning the 2nd annual Rouge Park Winterfest and look forward to bringing Don Drife back for more winter tree identification walks this January and February. We will also welcome the annual Sugarbush maple sugar tapping in the Stone Bridge Nature Trail area.
Thank you to all who supported us for Giving Tuesday, you are the best. Thank you to our ten hard working board members and two part-time staff. Thank you to Peggy Dankert for her dedicated work to remove invasive species by the Lahser Marsh. We hope you can join us on Dec. 19 at 6 pm at Starter's for our Holiday Party to celebrate all we have accomplished this year.
The Friends of Rouge Park Mission:
To protect, restore, and promote a natural, environmentally healthy, and culturally vibrant Rouge Park that engages the community for the benefit and enjoyment of all.
We can't do it without your support!
Thank you to all of our volunteers!
The cooler November weather did not dissuade volunteers from coming out to Rouge Park to clear invasive honeysuckle and buckthorn, restore trails and improve the health of the forest. To keep them sustained in the cold, we continued our "Buckthorn Bonfires" and Ma'iingan Wildwood Trail/Sugarbush themed (pancake breakfast!) work days. We were also happy to support another crew from the Rocket Community Fund that worked at D-Town Farm to help with the end-of-the-season duties. D-Town has been assisting our work all season by lending us tools so we lent them some volunteers.
This work is funded by a cost share agreement from the USDA Forest Service and overseen by Land Steward Manager Antonio Cosme.
Volunteers at our Rocket Community Fund Workday
Buckthorn Bonfires at Scout Hollow
Two Buckthorn Bonfires were held on the Scout Hollow Nature Trail on November 11 and 19. The volunteers continued the work to transform the Scout Hollow steps down to the campground and along the nature trail to the scenic bridge over the creek, removing the invasive plants that were smothering the native trees and plants, freeing them up to thrive again.
After each day of work, participants were treated to a well-deserved reward; a cozy bonfire where volunteers could unwind, share stories, and enjoy refreshments and snacks. This communal gathering not only celebrated the day's accomplishments but also fostered a sense of connection among community members who share a commitment to restoring this valuable natural resource. The Scout Hollow campground offers the perfect setting for this.
We encourage everyone to visit the Scout Hollow Nature Trail to see the improvements and enjoy this special place.
Buckthorn Bonfire in Scout Hollow
Ma'iingan Wildwood Trail/Sugarbush Day
On Saturday, November 26, a dedicated team of 12 volunteers braved the cold and snowy weather to restore the Ma'iingun Wildwood Trail section from the Stone Bridge Trail to Warren Avenue. The day's hero was none other than the remarkable volunteer and Ojibwe chef, Alexis Chingman Tijerina, who skillfully manned the griddle, treating everyone to a warm and hearty breakfast, featuring delicious pancakes and freshly baked morning delights. In addition, David Oakley has been overseeing the work to install natural wood bridges and steps.
Volunteers at Sugarbush Workday & Pancake Breakfast
One of the new foot bridges on Ma'iingan Wildwood Trail
WANT TO JOIN THE NEXT BUCKTHORN BONFIRE?
TEXT BONFIRE to (586) 352-4649
WINTERFEST 2024 IS COMING!
Get ready to embrace the magic of the season at Rouge Park's most anticipated event of the winter – Winterfest 2024! Join us on January 28 for a day filled with frosty fun, delectable treats, and heartwarming camaraderie.
Mark your calendars, bundle up, and join the Friends of Rouge Park community for a day of winter magic that will create lasting memories! Winterfest 2024 is not just an event; it's an experience you won't want to miss. Stay tuned for more details, and let the countdown to the frosty festivities begin!
Volunteer Work Day
Sunday, December 17, 12-4pm
Joe Prance Recreation Area (map)
Cosponsored by the Friends of Rouge Park and the Detroit Sugarbush Project. Help remove invasive honeysuckle and buckthorn.
FORP Holiday Party
Tuesday Dec. 19, 6pm
Starter's Bar & Grill Banquet Room (map)
Join other Rouge Park lovers to celebrate the season. Dinner and Happy Hour drinks available for purchase (see the menu).
Rouge Park Winter Fest
Sunday, January 28, 12-5pm
Sledding Hill Area - Spinoza Dr. & Service Yard Dr. (map)