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It is no surprise that Mount Royal Park faces serious challenges with regards to environmental conservation, public security and park use. The importance of making smart decisions relative to the types of activities that are (or not) permitted on Mount Royal is critical for the sustainability of the natural area. Consequently, winter sports and activities for which the City does provide services on Mount Royal include: walking, running, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, tobogganing, snow tubing and skating. These activities were selected for their compatibility with the park and their practice is guided by appropriate regulations.
Snowboarding and downhill skiing on Mount Royal harm the mountain’s natural environment. The sloped areas are particularly vulnerable because of fragile vegetation regrowth. Snowboarding or skiing over the shrubs and small trees that keep the soil in place damages them and causes substantial erosion. Considerable public funds have been invested in the revegetation of these areas to prevent erosion. Unfortunately, new plantings are greatly damaged by the practice of such sports.
The pleasure gained by a handful of individuals results in important negative consequences for the mountain, for which we all end up paying a high price. Sadly, those who laud snowboarding or skiing off trail on Mount Royal only serve to encourage others to pursue the same kind of activities that damage our mountain.
Millions visit this great natural area in the city and every little gesture counts! We should all behave in an enlightened manner to protect our lovely mountain so that it remains a magical place in the middle of the city where each one us can enjoy fresh air, tranquility and the beauty of the great outdoors.