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friends@therouge.org | 734-927-4900 | Fax: 734-927-4920
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2022 Water Trail Paddle Events
2022 Paddle Trips
Don’t miss your chance to paddle the Rouge!
If you are an experienced paddler, or if you have never paddled before, we’ve got a trip for you!
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Heart of the Rouge 2022
Join the Heart of the Rouge Celebration!
A Benefit on the Banks
TICKETS ON SALE NOW! Celebrate your hometown River at the historically renovated Phoenix Mill and power a better future!
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Explore Planned Giving for Your Hometown River
Chart your legacy for a better River and a better world—for this generation and the next!
FOTR staff letting a young girl volunteer see clams
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FOTR Happenings

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1 day ago
Friends of the Rouge

Thank you to everyone who came out for the National Canoe & Kayak Day Paddle event today at Ford Field Park!🛶

Many participants got to join in demo day around the Ford Field pond to try out paddling and several others filled, “Rouge River Man”, Bryon Frady’s canoe with trash from the River!

Special thanks to @motorcitycanoerental Motor City Canoe Rental - Oakwoods Metropark, National Kidney Foundation of Michigan, VegMichigan, and Detroit Audubon for their partnership in making this event a success!

Join FOTR for the next paddle trip, the Industrial Paddle, on September 17 in Melvindale!

#rougefriends #rougeriver #nationalcanoeday #lowerrougewatertrail #paddletherouge
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1 day ago
Friends of the Rouge

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Thank you for all you do!!❤️

Wow. Those rocks are sunbathing.

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Cathy Parzianello

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The next Merriman Hollow Garden Workday is this Saturday, June 25 from 9 till 12! Activities include weeding, removing invasive species, and picking up trash to beautify the space for all to enjoy. Volunteers needed, please sign up TODAY at tinyurl.com/22MHGarden. Get out to see the beautiful garden, lend a hand and enjoy the beautiful day outside ☀️🌸🦋

Location: Merriman Hollow Pollinator Garden is located on Hines Drive at the Merriman Road entrance between Ann Arbor Trail and Warren Road (where you enter for the Holiday Light). To access the site from Merriman Road, drive around the barricade if necessary. Once you turn into the park, our work will be on the left in the garden area near the river. Parking available on the right.

We are looking to have at least 25 volunteers at the event, but there is no limit on volunteers! All are welcome, kids in elementary school should be accompanied by an adult. Please dress appropriately for the weather with closed-toed shoes and clothes you don't mind getting dirty. Bring gloves, a large shovel, and something to drink.
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The next Merriman Hollow Garden Workday is this Saturday, June 25 from 9 till 12! Activities include weeding, removing invasive species, and picking up trash to beautify the space for all to enjoy. Volunteers needed, please sign up TODAY at tinyurl.com/22MHGarden.  Get out to see the beautiful garden, lend a hand and enjoy the beautiful day outside ☀️🌸🦋

Location: Merriman Hollow Pollinator Garden is located on Hines Drive at the Merriman Road entrance between Ann Arbor Trail and Warren Road (where you enter for the Holiday Light). To access the site from Merriman Road, drive around the barricade if necessary. Once you turn into the park, our work will be on the left in the garden area near the river. Parking available on the right.

We are looking to have at least 25 volunteers at the event, but there is no limit on volunteers! All are welcome, kids in elementary school should be accompanied by an adult. Please dress appropriately for the weather with closed-toed shoes and clothes you dont mind getting dirty. Bring gloves, a large shovel, and something to drink.

Happy National Pollinator Week from Friends of the Rouge! Pollinators- birds, bees, butterflies, beetles, flies, and other small mammals- are essential for supporting food crops, wetlands, and beauty in outdoor spaces.

Habitat loss, pesticides, and disease are the three biggest threats to pollinators.

There are many ways you can protect pollinator species, including planting native plants that host a specific pollinator, creating natural, diverse lawn spaces, minimizing mowing and the use of pesticides, and leaving your leaves and old vegetation in the fall/winter!

Check out out the FOTR Pollinators 101 webinar here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=w02PdXPyePk to learn more about the pollination process, pollinators, threats to pollinators, and how you can support pollinators at home! 🌼🌱🌿🐝🪲

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This video features the Prairie Pathway Nature Trail & Butterfly Gardens, found in Detroit’s Rouge Park, which is home to several pollinator and native plant species!
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Don’t miss a thing! Read FOTR news you can use in our Rouge Rundown.

The FOTR Wish List

Every little bit helps!
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PARC Capital Campaign

Help FOTR in our new space!
Learn more ?

Rain Gardens 101 with Matthew Bertrand

One Water – We Are the Rouge!

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63,369
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Our Services

Friends of the Rouge in ACTION

Rouge Rescue

Rouge Education Project

River Restoration

River Monitoring

Rouge River Water Trail

Our annual river clean up

Since 1986, volunteers have removed large quantities of trash from the river. Public perception shifted from the river as an open sewer and a place to dump trash to its restoration including invasive plants removal, installation of native plantings, and stabilization of stream banks.

Learn more...
School-based environmental education

We involve elementary, middle, and high schools from across southeastern Michigan. Students learn about the Rouge River in class, and then perform hands-on scientific exploration of the river on a field trip to its banks. They are encouraged to take action to restore and protect the river.

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How we care for the land

How we care for the land impacts water quality in our local lakes and rivers. The River Restoration program teaches residents of the watershed how to manage their land to improve water quality and to provide wildlife habitat through hands-on projects and educational events.

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Residents become citizen scientists

This program engages residents to become citizen scientists, collecting data about the health of the watershed through biological indicator species (bugs, frogs, fish, etc.) that reflect the long-term health of the watershed. As water quality improves, bugs frogs and fish are returning.

Learn more...
Along 29.25 miles of the Lower Rouge

FOTR is currently working with local partners to develop a water trail on 29.25 miles of the Lower Rouge from Canton to the Detroit River. Much of the river corridor is protected within Wayne County Parks, making it ideal for the development of launches and amenities.

Learn more...

Volunteer to Make a Difference

Friends of the Rouge began as a volunteer organization, so volunteerism sits at the core of mission to serve the Rouge River watershed.

Become a Member

Be part of the legacy. Support the vital work we do by helping us meet critical milestones for programs that make a lasting impact of the Rouge River watershed’s health.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Get involved! Support our diverse programs through sponsorships that have the power to make real and lasting change for the health of the Rouge River watershed!

Networking to Build Community

Our community stakeholders, partners, and alliances make our watershed healthier! Thank you to all who make a difference by caring about the Rouge River.

Financial Transparency

We adhere to all federal and state regulations, produce annual financial audits, submit all reporting documents in a timely manner with clear accounting methods and record keeping.

FAQs

Curious about something in the Rouge? We may already have an answer to commonly asked questions regarding our organization or the watershed. Check out our FAQs HERE.

Our Sponsors

  • Cleveland-Cliffs Foundation
  • BOSCH logo
  • Erb Family Foundation logo
  • Great Lakes Water Authority
  • Margaret Dunning Foundation Logo
  • Pure Oakland Water logo
  • Ralph C. Wilson Jr., Foundation Parks & Trails logo

Hear Our Voice
We acknowledge …the systemic injustices and pervasive racism that occurs for people of color.
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A Better Rouge For Us All

You care about the Rouge River. Watch how, together, we have been making your river cleaner and more vibrant for the plants and animals, and for the people of Southeast Michigan to enjoy.

Voices for the Rouge