Don River, ON - Floyd Ruskin
My name is Floyd Ruskin and I live here in the city of Toronto. The Don is for lack of a better way to put it, my ravine. It’s the one that’s my back yard and it’s one that I’m most familiar with. Love the Rouge, love the Humber, Highland Creek but this is my backyard and I’ve spent probably 85% of my green space time in the Don River Valley.
The city has a lot nicknames, Hog Town, the Six, mine has always been, ‘a city within a park’. Having those green spaces are very very important not only to myself but to my colleagues and my friends and my neighbours as well. My group, my colleagues and I arranged a clean-up in the Don Valley in the E.T. Seton Park area. E.T. Seton Park wraps around the Thorncliffe Park area. The amount of trash that accumulates in that Ravine is astounding. Our efforts were a small part to bring together 800 plus committed people from Toronto that came out to clean up the ravines. I think we cleaned 17 acres worth of parkland, 1600 bags of garbage and it really allows nature to shine through and it promotes the habitat for the animals that live in the Valley as well.
Most of what we collected was plastics as they break down overtime they become micro plastics and those micro plastics get washed down into our rivers and streams eventually into the lakes and is ingested by waterfowl, fish and just about everything else.
What I would hope for the future is people using less plastic, people being more cognizant of the fact that we’re responsible that we should be proper stewards of our land just like First Nations people were when they lived and fished and built communities around here. We need to take charge of it, we can’t leave it up to governments, it’s our responsibility and it’s also our responsibility to teach it to children and future generations.