The Rouge River Valley


The Rouge River Valley, eleven thousand acres of urban wilderness, is a unique, yet very fragile and transient natural phenomenon existing within the confines of a major North American city, Toronto. Fed by the Oak Ridges Moraine, the Rouge river system has, over generations of time, cut its identity into the land, shaping the habitat for a multitude of lifeforms, many of which are now either threatened or gone.

Author James E. Garratt, a seasoned environmentalist, shares two decades of personal observation and ecological study to reveal the richness and flow of seasonal changes in this exceptional urban park. This "portrait" of a year in the Rouge Valley explores not only the diversity of life in its natural habitat but also the impact of urban sprawl and the inevitable conflict with development.

Is it possible to be a true naturalist "grounded" in a modern city? The words of Ian McHarg, an urban planner, hold true: "We need nature as much in the city as in the country."

About the Author

James E. Garratt

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014

James E. Garratt

James E. Garratt lives near Kleinburg, Ontario, about 20 miles northwest of Toronto. He works as an Outdoor Educator and also as a natural history writer. Literature of the wilderness and environmental activism are two of his main interests. Amateur astronomy, ham radio, music, canoeing, hiking, and sailing are some of his other pursuits.