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Newcomer Youth Nori’s experience at Rouge Urban National Park

Abdi Summer Settlement Program

Last month, Parkbus and Parks Canada graciously offered a free guided bus tour to Rouge Urban National Park. We used this opportunity to take newcomer students from Bickford Center, and their families, on a new kind of adventure. What was special about this trip? On top of the Park Bus shuttle, not only did it include a Hiking Essentials workshop, but also a guided hike along the Mast Trail’s beautiful ridge. The walk ended at the Little Rouge Creek, where the participants had their lunch break picnic. The day was perfect and all 33 newcomers thoroughly enjoyed the trip. For most of them, this was their first visit to a Canadian National Park. One of them sent a message on behalf of the class, describing the experience.

The guided tour through Nori’s eyes

“This trip would not have been possible without the generous support from Park Bus and Parks Canada. I speak on behalf of the whole class when I say that it was really enjoyable. I have already hiked through many paths in and around the GTA, but the Rouge Valley was my first time as was the case for most of our classmates.

It would have been too wide to hike by ourselves, fortunately for us, we were provided with 6 friendly volunteer guides to orient us and make the experience all the more satisfying. They were very helpful in showing us around the park. During guided walks, we saw a variety of landscapes, including forests, farmlands and wooded areas. They were natural, cultural and agricultural areas to explore. We learned something new from century-old trees and peaceful meadows.

I couldn’t believe it was a free event. We took a shuttle bus that took us there. I sat on the back part of the bus seats, that’s why I felt like a riding jet rollercoaster. I’d like to go there again in the near future. On behalf of all my classmates and I of the Level 8 Bickford Class, we wish to express our sincere gratitude to you, Barbara, as the Program Worker; your manager at Culturelink, Abdi; as well as Stanley for presenting us with this wonderful opportunity and for arranging transportation through the Parkbus Program. We very much enjoyed it and hope many others will too”.

Warm Regards, Nori Funabashi (for the Level 8 Bickford Class). July 9, 2019.