friends@therouge.org | 734-927-4900 | Fax: 734-927-4920

Rouge Rescue

Connecting people across southeast Michigan to improve the Rouge River—for enjoyment today and for generations to come.

Rouge Rescue 2022: April 25 through May 22

Rouge Rescue is your time to act! Make your world better, starting from your backyard and up:

  • VOLUNTEER: get your hands dirty planting trees, cleaning up the river, and more!
  • LEARN & EXPERIENCE: Check out some great resources on each week’s topics and join us for more virtual and in-person educational programming throughout the month!
  • DONATE: make a difference for the Rouge River! Or make Rouge Rescue every day by becoming a member, supporting all the amazing programming all year ’round!

Throughout the spring, summer, and fall, sign-up for fantastic activities to restore and protect the Rouge River. There is something for every interest and skill level.

No experience is needed. Work side-by-side with friends and experts on exciting, hands-on projects. We supply the tools, the materials and the know-how, while you supply the fun and enthusiasm.  So, stay tuned, and check often. All new projects will be posted below. Explore the events, find your passion, and sign up!

View Projects & Dates


Week 1: April 25 to May 1 – Deforestation & Biodiversity Week

Wildlife that can be found in the Rouge River watershed include various amphibians, reptiles, birds, fish, plants, and mammals. As more of the watershed becomes developed or urbanized, fewer areas of wildlife habitat remain. It is also important to remember that fauna (animals) and flora (plants) need a healthy river and watershed just as much as we do. A diverse wildlife population indicates a healthier ecosystem that is more resilient to future effects from climate change.

Thank you for everyone who volunteered with us this week!

Reforestation Face Sheet (EarthDay.org)

Global Species Decline Fact Sheet (EarthDay.org)

Threats to biodiversity: Invasive Species in the Rouge

Sat, Apr. 30: Save the Frogs Day- Learn About Frogs & Toads of the Rouge

Week 2: May 2 to May 8 – Heat & Emissions Week

Trees and other plants help cool the environment, making vegetation a simple and effective way to reduce urban heat islands. Trees also absorb harmful emissions and air pollution like greenhouse gases. Trees also provide aesthetic value, reduce noise, and valuable habitat for wildlife.

Thank you for everyone who volunteered with us this week!

Week 3: May 9 to May 15 – Flooding & Rain Week

Living in Michigan, we are fortunate to be surrounded by 20% of the World’s fresh surface water, and it’s all our jobs to help protect this vital resource! Pollutants like fertilizers, oils, trash, etc., can wash into our local rivers and Great Lakes and can be harmful to fish and our sources for drinking water. We can help invest in our climate future and mitigate future flooding events with more native trees and native plant rain gardens across the watershed to manage stormwater and help prevent more sever flooding events for our neighbors downstream.

Thank you for everyone who volunteered with us this week!

THANK YOU to everyone who attended the Rain Gardens 101 at Marygrove College!

Where does YOUR water go?- Journey of a Raindrop

How to Disconnect Your Downspout (video)

Wildflower Week- Learn more about Native Plants for any landscape

Mon, May 16- Love a Tree Day: Watch Trees as a Stormwater Management Tool (GYN ’21)

Week 4: May 16 to May 22 – Water Quality Week

Today, one of the biggest sources of water pollution in the Rouge River is no longer from large manufacturing plants, but from each individual home and property in the watershed (i.e. non-point source pollution, coming for multiple/many sources). Having healthy lawncare habitats, not dumping anything you’re not supposed to down home drains and storm drains, and reducing your water use can all help improve our local waterways!

Rouge Rescue/ Rouge Park Appreciation Day
Thank you to all our volunteers!

Rouge Rescue Backyard Fair & Native Plant Sale
Thank you for joining us!

Healthy Lawncare Tips for Watershed Protection
No Mow May (Bee City USA)
Microplastics and Drinking Water Fact Sheet (EarthDay.org)

Fri, May 20: National Endangered Species Day- Learn more about the Rouge’s endangered Redside Dace

Fri, May 20: World Bee Day- Bees Fact Sheet (EarthDay.org)

Click HERE to view past Rouge Rescue Reports