Les amis' newsletter "May 2009: Mount Royal Month"

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Photo: A. Dobrowolskyj, 2008

As part of “May 2009: Mount Royal Month”, Les amis’ forum participants will be taken on a guided visit of the southern sector of the mountain. The walk begins from the Beaver Lake pavilion and will continue to the former Philosophy Seminary, the Trafalgar-Gleneagles site, the former site of the Ferme sous les noyers and will conclude at the Grand Séminaire on Sherbrooke Street. Join us to discover the history and heritage of this area to gain a better understanding of the development projects slated for these sites and their conservation challenges.
For more information, contact François-Xavier Caron, public forum coordinator at 514 843-8240, ext. 241.

A major residential project on the mountain is cause for concern
The Office de consultation publique de Montréal (OCPM) will hold public consultations on the residential project planned for the former site of the Sulpicians’ philosophy seminary, more recently the former site of Marianopolis College.
The project consists of converting the main historic building into prestigious residences and the addition of condominium complexes and townhouses. In total, 325 residential units will be located on the property, in addition to 671 underground parking spaces. The project, located within the Mount Royal Historic and Natural District, derogates from the city’s urban planning by-laws with regards to use, density, height, volume and allowable installation on the site.
During a special forum held by Les amis de la montagne on April 28, numerous participants expressed great concern over the scale of the project on this magnificent institutional site located within close proximity to Mount Royal Park.
We encourage everyone to participate in large numbers in the public consultation on this project!
The information sessions will be held:
Information on the proposed project and the consultation process is available in French from the OCPM’s website
Click here for the information pamphlet and public announcement.
The Mount Royal Protection and Enhancement Plan is adopted
The Ville de Montréal announced the adoption of the Mount Royal Protection and Enhancement Plan by the executive council on April 24 at city hall. The plan is slated for the adoption by the end of the month by the agglomeration council.
This plan underwent public consultation in 2008 and is an update of the Mount Royal Enhancement Plan of 1992. The plan defines the approaches being proposed by the Ville de Montréal to ensure the protection and enhancement of the landscapes, as well as the natural, built and created spaces judged of interest on the mountain.
Les amis de la montagne are satisfied with this plan for Mount Royal, but underline that the true test of its effectiveness will be in the concrete application of the protection measures contained in the document and the execution of an action plan.
Les amis have worked for a very long time in securing protection measures for Mount Royal and are pleased to see results. Following the governmental decree creating the historic and natural district in 2005, the Mount Royal Protection and Enhancement Plan is the Ville de Montréal’s expression of the territory’s unique and emblematic importance.
The plan was finally realized thanks to the human and financial resources put in place by the Ville de Montréal since 2005 and also to the importance attributed to the involvement and the consultation by all interested associations, institutions and the public. The success of the application of the plan will likewise depend upon this continued level of involvement from all sides.

Les amis de la montagne launch the youth section of the Mount Royal interactive map
Les amis de la montagne proudly launched a brand new youth section of the Mount Royal interactive map geared for 8 to 17 year-olds. Games, videos, investigations, slide shows and discovery files – all ensure the most dynamic, playful and interactive discovery of the mountain ever!
With the help of 100 multimedia files, young people – at home or in the classroom - are invited to discover the history, geology, fauna, flora and art on the mountain in a most uncommon and original way.
Photo: A. Dobrowolskyj, 2009
The younger age group (8 to 11 years) is invited to lead a series of investigations: re-trace the history of a coin found of the mountain dating from 1860 or trek through the forest to trace animal prints in the snow. The colourful “Friendz” super-guides accompany 12 to 17 year-olds on a variety of multimedia challenges to create posters on conservation issues that could even be published on the interactive map via Les amis de la montagne’s website. A downloadable guide for teachers allows further thinking in the classroom.

The launch of this new section was held March 30 in the company of students from the École Saint-Germain d’Outremont and in the presence of Helen Fotopulos, member of the executive committee of the Ville de Montréal, responsible for Mount Royal, André Larichelière, commissioner with the Commission Scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys, Diane Lacour de Léry, principal of the school and Sylvie Guilbault, executive director of Les amis.
Still places left in Les amis’ summer day camp
Les amis de la montagne are offering a new summer day camp in Mount Royal Park for children 6 to 12 years old, in collaboration with the Ville de Montréal.
The day camp experience on Mount Royal will be an immersion into nature in the heart of the city. Reservations are possible for one to two-week programs between June 29 to August 21, depending on the child’s age and interests.
Photo: S. Montigné, 2008
Register your child today - simply complete the registration form and send it to us with a first installment of $50 (non-refundable) at the following address: Smith House, 1260 Remembrance Road, Montreal, QC H3H 1A2. For further information, please contact Noémie Poirier-Monfette by calling 514 843-8240, ext. 235.

May 2009: Mount Royal Month
May, officially proclaimed “Mount Royal Month”, is a month of activities dedicated to the discovery and conservation of the natural environment and the exploration of the many facets of the mountain. Mount Royal Month is the original idea of Les amis de la montagne, realized jointly with the Ville de Montréal, thanks to the generosity of TD Friends of the Environment Foundation and other sponsors, institutions and collaborators.
Following the public forum, which will take the form of a guided walk on the mountain, two conferences will be held as part of the Université de Montréal’s “Belles Soirées” (in French). A conference on the birds of Montreal will be held May 6 and on the mountain’s geology on May 13. The public will be able to deepen their understanding of these topics with specialists from Les amis de la montagne on geology on May 20 and on ornithology on May 22. 
The 5th Prix du Mont-Royal will be awarded on May 25 by Les amis de la montagne and the Ville de Montréal to an individual whose vision and commitment to the preservation of the mountain’s heritage is an inspiration to us all.
On Wednesday, May 27 and Thursday, May 28, the 2nd edition of the exhibit “Sur le toit de Montréal” will be on view at Smith House. This exhibit features works by more than 400 elementary school students in the form of posters created collectively by each class. The project was made possible by the Programme de soutien à l’école montréalaise du ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport and Les amis de la montagne, in partnership with the Université de Montréal, St-Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal and the cavalry unit of the SPVM.
Activities of the mountain’s great institutions:
The activities of eight of the mountain’s great institutions are included for the first time in the calendar of Mount Royal Month events: the cavalry unit of the SPVM, Cimetière Mont-Royal, Musée des Hospitalières de l’Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal, Musée McCord, Musée Redpath, Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal, Université de Montréal (Les Belles Soirées) and Université McGill.
Click here for the complete calendar of Mount Royal Month activities.
18th Corvée du Mont-Royal clean-up
All members of the community are invited to join us at the Chalet du Mont-Royal on May 10 to celebrate Mother Nature on Mother’s Day!
Photos: A. Dobrowolskyj, 2008
Tune us in!
On Friday, May 8, we invite you to tune in to “Les Midis Libre” on CIBL Radio-Montréal 101,5 FM to listen to Joëlle Lapalme, coordinator of conservation activities, who will discuss events planned during the month of May to help preserve the mountain’s biodiversity.
5th World Congress in Environmental Education
Les amis de la montagne, partners of the 5th World Congress in Environmental Education, being held in Montreal from May 10 to 14, are pleased to welcome 100 people from the four corners of the world as participants in the 18th Corvée du Mont-Royal clean-up on May 10. About 200 trees will be planted to help offset carbon emissions of travellers to the Congress.
As part of the congress, Les amis de la montagne will participant as conference presenters. Éric Richard, director of educational services, will present the environmental stewarship program the Les amis have been running successfully for the last several years, while Jean-Michel Villanove, coordinator of educational services for the general public, will present the interactive map of Mount Royal, designed to provide an original exploration of the mountain.

Donate to Les amis’ annual campaign
Les amis de la montagne depends upon generous donations from individuals, foundations and corporations for the majority of its financing. By mobilizing public opinion, Les amis is a pioneer in developing viable initiatives for the mountain’s long-term protection. Every dollar gets results. To find out more, simply download the annual campaign brochure here. Thank you for your support!
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