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Back to the Woods


By Mark Yearwood

“Can we dig now?” The question rises from my 4-year-old nephew, his face lit with excitement.  We are deep in the woods of Rouge Park on a glorious fall day and this boy wants to play in the dirt.  I have taken him here, to this vast expanse of gorgeous woodlands, tucked away, for the most part, in the northeast of Toronto, for some fun. Where he can move freely, run and jump, laugh and explore, or simply be still and wonder.


I didn’t know it at the time, but this initial adventure into the woods, a few years back, was the inspiration for the organization I have created called Kids In the Woods Initiative—K.I.W.I. We are a nonprofit, dedicated to providing the ultimate outdoor nature experience programs for kids in Rouge Park. Through adventure-play and mentoring, our goal is to reconnect kids to nature.


At K.I.W.I. we want to make a big change and shift the culture of childhood. By providing kids with safe access to the natural green spaces of Rouge Park, we will engage kids with our fun and innovative programming, and spark in them a sense of wonder for the world around them, so that they will be transformed into their best selves.

We have great programs for kids of all ages, running Saturdays, afterschool, and weekdays. And for teachers, you can reconnect your students to nature in our day-trip programs. Join us in beautiful Rouge Park. Connect with us:

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