Rouge Park Trail and Park Volunteers Orientation Package

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1 Rouge Park Trail and Park Volunteers Orientation Package

2 In this package you will find: Welcome! Introduction to Rouge Park Introduction to the HAVE Program The Guided Walks and Ambassadors programs; part of the HAVE Program Trail Volunteer Program Overall Impact What is the Difference Between a Walk Leader and an Ambassador? Volunteers show the way to a great outing in the Park Your commitment to Rouge Park Rouge Park s commitment to you Let s get on board! Training Schedule

3 About Rouge Park Rouge Park is over 40 km 2 within the Rouge River, Petticoat Creek and Duffins Creek watersheds The Park forms part of Ontario s Greenbelt, and it represents Canada s largest natural environment park in an urban setting Rouge Park was formally established in 1994, by the Province of Ontario, following years of citizen support for the preservation of the Rouge River valley Rouge Park offers a unique brand of local, low-impact tourism that will inspire our visitors to become involved in conservation, preservation and sustainable activities Work is in progress to see Rouge Park become Canada s first Urban National Park

4 The only place in the GTA for Torontonians to easily and conveniently access the Greenbelt Rouge Park is an important part of the GTA s green infrastructure, providing ecological services such as clean air and abundant clean water; we aim to encourage our visitors to embrace these values Rouge Park is home to 16 kilometres of walking on 9 trails, in the Toronto section, frequently accessed by a variety of visitors with positive and supportive feedback Rouge Park offers approximately 7 million people in the GTA a nearurban wilderness experience, within an hour s drive

5 Heritage Appreciation and Visitor Experience (HAVE) Plan Education, interpretation and activity programming, signage and communications Inform, Involve and Inspire visitors and volunteers toward active stewardship of the Park Enhance public awareness of our relationship to and dependence upon the natural world, and our connections with the past Increase visits to the Park, and with that, tourism to this important area of the Greenbelt

6 Nature Walk and Ambassador Programs Part of the HAVE Plan Introduce new (and regular) visitors to the Park and our trail system Offer help to show the way and introduce visitors to the Park Navigation Interpretation Education Safety Share with visitors and helps to enforce the importance of responsible trail use, trail skills and Park code of conduct Give visitors a chance to enjoy our trails in many ways, for example: Fitness Nature and wildlife Photography History Family outing

7 Trail Volunteer Program Overall Impact Create a link between the Park and our visitors to promote awareness of the Park s special place and function in the GTA, the Greenbelt and the province Spark the flame toward active involvement and care of the Park - Stewardship Make Rouge Park a destination for a fun, informative, safe and social outing anytime of year

8 What is the Difference Between a Walk Leader and an Ambassador? Walk leaders take groups of visitors on planned walks on Rouge Park s trails. They plan outings reflecting the time of year or a level of activity, or other theme, to attract different visitors to come out. Each walk has its own character. Ambassadors use Rouge Park s trails and trail head/parking areas as places to engage and welcome visitors who are coming as self-guided walkers. They help those visitors get acquainted with the Park, even if they come often, as there is always something to update, i.e. trail conditions. Both volunteers aim to imbue in Rouge Park visitors a sense of pride and care of the Park through positive words and actions, and being a role model of stewardship. This includes explaining to self-guided and guided walkers the Park s code of conduct, and responding accordingly to actions that are not in keeping with that code, i.e. dogs off leash, walking off trail.

9 Volunteers Show the Way to a Great Outing in the Park! You may be the first Rouge Park face a visitor sees a smile starts it off! You set the stage for their visit You help shape a visitor s impression of the Park You share your enthusiasm about the Park why is it so special? You reinforce why a visitor chose to come to the Park, so they come back You show them how to best appreciate the Park through teaching and modeling You talk with and listen to visitors You offer or suggest different types of walks to suit different types of visitors

10 Volunteers build or improve skills, character and connections Confidence in yourself Speaking in public/working with groups Learning about others visiting the Park or attending walks Learning from your peer volunteers with different knowledge/skills Expanding your perceived limits Extending your social circle and increasing your social capital Becoming an inspiration for others Learning more about the Park and its wild neighbours

11 What We re Looking for in Our Volunteers: Very strong experience on trails: day hikes/trips/trekking/backpacking/hiking events i.e. must be able to cover at least 5-8km (2-3 hours) with a 10lb backpack Basic knowledge of what to wear for the outdoors, year-round Enthusiasm: outgoing, welcoming, inviting and involving Past leadership: volunteer, peer or professional role, working with/managing groups Curiosity: learn and acquire information from others/other sources Respect: for differences in others abilities and working with them for success Appreciation and respect: for nature and the environment, wildlife and plants Assertiveness: confidently address Park compliance issues using friendliness and fairness Teaching: bring learning to others through dialogue, modelling and examples Responsible trail use: a role model for others to travel safely and ethically

12 Your Commitment to Rouge Park Attend an information walk and/or have a face to face meeting with the Trail Coordinator as part of the application process A minimum 1-year promise, year-round At least 1 walk or shift a month, plus meetings/training as needed Walks are Weekends and Wednesdays - Fixed schedule Ambassador shifts mainly Weekends, daytime, can be Weekdays Flexible schedule A seasonal rotation may begin in August 2012 rotate between roles through the year Successfully complete ALL training and orientation sessions Leaders: submit monthly walks plans and hike reports to regular deadlines Ambassadors: submit shift reports to regular deadlines Available to substitute for or swap with another volunteer, and provide ample notice if you need to swap or have your walk or shift covered (walks/shifts missed to be completed later) Available for Rouge Park public events and special requests

13 Rouge Park s Commitment to You Training, Support and Development Staff support, supervision and mentoring - Trail Coordinator Hike Ontario Certification 2 days Safe Hiker and Certified Hike Leader Evaluation of your planning, leadership and trail techniques, theory and practical Standard First Aid and CPR certification 2 days Evaluation of your ability to assess and respond to a first aid situation Extra half day on the trail for scenarios Rouge Park interpretation and public speaking Rouge Park Code of Conduct action and reporting protocol Assertiveness and resolution Team development sessions, socials, celebrations and communications Our thanks!

14 More About Hike Ontario Training Safe Hiker and Certified Hike Leader Preparing you to plan for outings and/or lead walks/hikes within 2km of emergency access You will be evaluated and tested participation, demonstration, confidence, ability, knowledge Safe Hiker Review what s needed for a successful outing: planning, packing, and on-trail techniques Certified Hike Leader Demonstrate good physical fitness and the ability to move confidently and efficiently when traveling on trail Present a positive and commanding attitude on safety when leading a group Demonstrate a high standard of leadership and route finding Show ability to establish effective communication with regard to the hiker s safety, comfort, and enjoyment Demonstrate a respect and care for the environment Have a proper standard of equipment as required for day hiking trips

15 Let s Get on Board! Please apply online, and if you want to share more, send a resume to Make sure to highlight skills, experience and other connections relevant to the volunteer profile on page 11 What We re Looking for in Our Volunteers Include 2 references, and indicate if you have current Standard First Aid Level C Rouge Park Volunteer Walks Leaders will be part of the TRCA Volunteer network All volunteers must register Full volunteer policy and coverage for everyone s benefit Vulnerable Sector police reference check mandatory must be completed before you are on the trail solo

16 TRAINING PROGRAM FOR ACCEPTED APPLICANTS Stage 1: Safe Hiker and Hike Leader Theory - full day Safe Hiker and Hike Leader Practical on the trail - full day (usually done in 1 weekend or 2 consecutive Saturdays) Stage 2: First Aid full weekend Stage 3: Bonus First Aid Field practical and Rouge Park interpretation skills and reporting protocol review - full day Stage 4: MENTORING PERIOD: 2 shifts with Trail Coordinator or an established volunteer to help you get adjusted OFFICIALLY ON THE TRAIL following 2 mentoring shifts

17 Thanks for your interest! If you wish to apply, please fill out the online form so we can quickly review your application. apply online Please be detailed so we can learn as much as we can about you and your fit for the team. Training and placement of new volunteers will start in early August. Please keep August open for training on weekends. We will be in touch by mid-july 2012 to let you know officially about joining the Rouge Park team.

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