Pauline Browes 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.

The Board of Directors for the Waterfront Regeneration Trust (WRT) 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.

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.”

“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.

With its extensive and unique natural areas spanning the length of the Rouge watershed, and over 2 million people living within an hour’s drive, the Rouge Park will Canada’s largest near-urban park. It will form one of the most significant remaining systems of linked natural areas and open space corridors extending from Lake Ontario to the Oak Ridge Moraine. It will contain many Environmentally Sensitive Areas, Areas of Natural Concern and Scientific Interest, and some of the best examples of rare Carolinian forest remaining in Canada. [From the 1994 letter to the Minister of Canadian Heritage]

Hon. David Crombie, P.C., O.C., OOnt.

How to Apply for a Pauline Browes Future Leaders Fellowship

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
  • $1,500 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

Samantha Clapperton,
2020 Pauline Browes Fellowship Recipient

“Whether it be monitoring turtle populations at one of the several restored wetlands, or talking to visitors about the park’s history, I am confident in the fact that the work being done at the Rouge by myself and countless others is improving the lives of all that enjoy its rich biodiversity and landscapes.

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

Pictured left to right: Keith Laushway, Chair of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust; Omar McDadi, Superintendent, Rouge National Urban Park; Samantha Clapperton, this year’s recipient of the Pauline Browes Fellowship; Pauline Browes, Waterfront Regeneration Trust Board Member; Mariah Ramlogan last year’s inaugural recipient of the fellowship.

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