Pauline Browes Future Conservation Leaders Fellowship

Established in 2019, the Pauline Browes Future Conservation Leaders Fellowship develops the next generation of environmental leaders. Over the course of a summer, fellows learn and participate in the protection and restoration of Rouge National Urban Park as part of Parks Canada’s prestigious Resource Conservation team.  The Fellowship is awarded to the candidate that demonstrates a strong commitment to the environment and a passion for making a difference in their community.

In 2023, the Fellowship’s Alumni assumed a leading role in the selection process to identify finalists for final review by the Board of Directors for the Waterfront Regeneration Trust (WRT).

The WRT Board created the fellowship to recognize the tremendous contribution Pauline has made and continues to make to protect and restore the Rouge Valley, and ultimately secure its designation as Canada’s first national urban park. She has dedicated nearly four decades, first as a Member of Parliament and then as a community leader and advocate, to secure resources and consensus to make sure the Rouge Valley was recognized as a national treasure. Pauline is also a founding member of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust Board.

Goals

The Pauline Browes Fellowship in partnership with Parks Canada helps to develop the next generation of conservation leaders to protect and steward the natural heritage of the Rouge Valley.

The program is designed to give young leaders an opportunity to work directly in Rouge National Urban Park and with conservation leaders in Parks Canada over the course of a summer to:

  • build an understanding of the unique challenges involved in protecting and restoring an urban river valley as part of the national parks system and
  • inspire a life-long appreciation for the natural heritage of the Rouge Valley.

Award

  • Summer employment with Parks Canada at the Rouge National Urban Park
  • $2,000 financial bonus from the WRT at the successful completion of the work term
  • Mentorship with Parks Canada’s Rouge National Urban Park staff
  • The successful candidate will present about their experience to the Waterfront Regeneration Trust board of directors at the end of their summer employment
  • The successful candidate will also write a blog (600 to 800 words) and produce a short video (1 minute) about their experience for possible publication through Parks Canada and WRT social media channels.

Selection Eligibility and Criteria

To be eligible, candidates must be:

  • Eligible to hold a Parks Canada student employment position;
  • Pursuing a degree from an accredited post-secondary institution with specialization in environmental and/or natural sciences (e.g. biology, ecology, geology) or another discipline relevant to the position;
  • Either a new or returning student;
  • Dedicated to environmental conservation;
  • An excellent communicator; and
  • Able to demonstrate their community or environmental conservation leadership abilities.

Selection Process

  • Each year, Parks Canada will select eligible candidates through its competitive hiring process.
  • Students who are rehired, or newly hired, as members of the Resource Conservation Field Crew will be considered candidates for the Pauline Browes Fellowship.
  • During the hiring process, candidates will be offered the opportunity to express their interest for this fellowship by completing a brief essay, or another project, assigned by Parks Canada and the Waterfront Regeneration Trust Board of Directors.
  • The annual assignment will give candidates the opportunity to demonstrate characteristics exemplified by Pauline Browes: dedication to environmental conservation, excellent communication, or leadership.
  • The successful candidate will be selected based on the assessment of the annual assignment.
  • The successful candidate will be a member of the Rouge National Urban Park Resource Conservation Field Crew. The majority of their day-to-day work activities will align with the responsibilities of the Field Crew. Approximately 5% of their time will be committed to attending the WRT board meeting and preparing their presentation for the WRT board meeting.

Apply

  • Applications for a summer position with the Resource Conservation Field Crew with Parks Canada-Rouge National Urban Park open on-line in December and close in January.
  • The position will be posted at www.canada.ca/gcjobs.
  • The specific url will be provided here in December once the link goes live.

Inspiring words from Pauline Browes Fellowship Recipients and Finalists

Henri Lavallee
2023 Pauline Browes Fellowship Recipient

From the pressures of urban sprawl, invasive species, and climate change, it is clear that the federal protection of Rouge National Urban Park is necessary. As more of Ontario’s green spaces and farmland disappear under asphalt and concrete, Rouge National Urban Park is a public reminder of what we are losing. If our society is to adapt to this changing world, people must understand what it takes to produce their food, why we need a healthy environment, and who lived here before us.

People must also look to indigenous partners for guidance, as the first nations successfully farmed and lived harmoniously with nature for millennia before the arrival of settlers. Rouge National Urban Park could spearhead the marriage of western and traditional knowledge surrounding farming, deepening the connection between cultures, farming, and sustainable land use. The park could also serve as a place for indigenous and settler peoples to connect.

“After 30 years of steadfast, often challenging work to protect and restore the Rouge Valley, it is heart-warming to know its future is in the capable hands of new passionate leaders working as part of the excellent Parks Canada team.”

Hon. Pauline Browes, P.C.

Keira McManus
2022 Pauline Browes Fellowship Recipient

Environmental stewardship requires a foundation of community and the collaboration of diverse perspectives. For this reason, being an environmental steward means being an active member in the community that uplifts others and displays a positive example for our future environmental stewards.”

Melissa Martins
Recipient of 2021 Pauline Browes Fellowship

“Working in and around all the restored wetlands and forests of the Rouge drives home the message that human impact can be positive when efforts are directed towards beneficial change…Having a national urban park as large and diverse as the Rouge situated near the city provides protection for biodiversity while simultaneously encouraging public education and awareness on the importance of how our actions impact the environment.”

Samantha Clapperton,
2020 Pauline Browes Fellowship Recipient

The creation of a park that encourages togetherness and acceptance and has never been more important than it is today, as the problems we face as a global population can encourage divisiveness and conflict, we seek solace in the peaceful swaying of grasses, the lively movement of water through stream beds and the melodies of birds singing from the tree canopies.”

Mariah Ramlogan
2019 Pauline Browes Fellowship Recipient

“The moment of visual realization that the work I do makes a difference was when I saw the newly transformed area of the Northern Welcome Centre in Rouge National Urban Park.  In 2017, pre-restoration, the area was a vast low land of never-ending reeds and grasses tall enough to get lost in. Revisiting that same site the following summer, post-restoration. I saw newly planted trees and shrubs, an extensive variety of aquatic and riparian plants, pockets of serene ponds, and gently flowing channels connecting them.”

Almeera Ahmed
2023 Pauline Browes Fellowship Finalist

Rouge National Urban Park’s commitment to protecting all three elements resonates with a vision of a sustainable and inclusive future. By safeguarding agriculture, we celebrate the profound connection between food production, cultural identity, and environmental preservation. The symbiotic relationship between agriculture and nature fosters biodiversity, safeguards ecosystem services, and nurtures the resilience of both natural and human systems. This interconnectedness creates a dynamic and vibrant environment where nature thrives, cultural traditions are celebrated, and sustainable farming nourishes the community.

Simon Caneo
2023 Pauline Browes Fellowship Finalist

“As visitors walking on the new trails, you … see a forest ecosystem flourishing and hear birds singing their songs…Then by looking over your right shoulder, you can see the agricultural fields that produce the food on your plate. These beautiful trails show how these areas interconnect with each other; and that they can exist side by side within a national park.

The GTA and the area surrounding RNUP have seen extensive growth and development that pose extreme risks to naturalized areas and farmland alike. RNUP can act to educate the most populated region in Canada with the knowledge of how important these lands are; and that we must preserve them during development and growth to create sustainable cities and futures for generations to come.”

Nicole Woolley,
2022 Pauline Browes Fellowship Finalist

“As a Canadian citizen and environmental steward, I feel great pride for the unique ecosystems that make up Canada.

Using the tools I gained from my three years as a Resources Conservation student at Rouge National Urban Park, I founded the Turtles of Tomorrow program. This is its inaugural year and so far, I have been able to secure funding through the Kawartha Conservation Foundation, teach people about turtle ecology and lead volunteers and students from Fleming on how to make nest protectors and adequately install them.”

Paige Blaik
2021 Pauline Browes Fellowship Finalist

“Being part of the Parks Canada resource conservation team allows me to provide important data so that the dedicated individuals within the Rouge National Urban Park family can work tirelessly to interpret and improve environmental components throughout the Rouge. Thanks to my job, I can work towards what I find the most important issue in conservation, which is conserving and protecting habitat and natural resources.”

Ola Pasternak
2021 Pauline Browes Fellowship Finalist

“Growing up beside Rouge National Urban Park has motivated me to care for our native biodiversity and become an advocate for conservation… Encouraging and helping visitors and residents understand why it is important to appreciate the Rouge National Urban Park is vital for the successful long-term conservation of these diverse landscapes and species for future generations.”

Jessica Ballie
2020 Pauline Browes Fellowship Finalist

“With the Rouge National Urban Park I know I am a part of a historical establishment that looks expansively at biodiversity on all scales. This park is an exciting endeavour that protects and connects green spaces in Ontario’s most populated city.”

Graham Mulvihill
2020 Pauline Browes Fellowship Finalist

“It is my hope to decrease forest fragmentation and increase the water connectivity in wetlands across the vast agricultural landscape and improve upon the structural diversity of the park thus allowing for richer species diversity.”

Group photo of Fellowship recipients and Board members

Pictured left to right: Mariah Ramlogan (2019 Fellowship recipient), Mel Martins (2021 Fellowship recipient), Pauline Browes, Waterfront Regeneration Trust Board Member, Keira McManus, (2022 Fellowship recipient),  Keith Laushway, Chair of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust, Ann Mulvale, Waterfront Regeneration Trust Board Member, and Omar McDadi, Superintendent, Rouge National Urban Park.

About the Rouge National Urban Park

The Rouge National Urban Park is an ecological, agricultural and cultural gift to be cherished today, and passed on for generations and generations.

Rouge National Urban Park will be one of the largest urban parks in the world. 33x the size of Hyde Park in London, England; 16x larger than New York’s Central Park; 13x the size of Vancouver’s Stanley Park.

Learn more about Rouge National Urban Park

Check out the schedule for guided walks.

Photographs of the Rouge Valley. Photo Credit: Larry Noonan