Mount Royal Month continues - and more!

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CALENDAR OF ACTIVITIES: “May 2010: Mount Royal Month” continues




Save the date! Before the July-August hiatus, the final public forum of the season will be held Wednesday, June 9 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will involve a guided visit of the newly inaugurated Peel Street entrance to Mount Royal Park by the artisans and officials of the Ville de Montréal. Details to follow in the next newsletter.



Raccoon vaccination program: improving the health of wildlife

The Ville de Montréal, in collaboration with Les amis de la montagne, are undertaking the biannual program to vaccinate the raccoon population in Mount Royal Park. This program which began in 2004 in Mount Royal Park, aims to reduce the incidence of illnesses in raccoons, especially canine distemper.

Mount Royal is home to a rich and diversified wildlife. Animals cohabit with the Montreal population and it is important they remain healthy. The vaccination campaign is part of an ecological management approach developed by the Ville de Montréal.

To capture the raccoons to identify and vaccinate adult individuals, cages will be installed in different areas of the park between mid-May and early July. The cages are marked with special identification. The authorities request that the population not approach the cages and keep dogs on their leashes at all times, in order to avoid the spread of disease. The collaboration of visitors to the park is essential in the success of the campaign.

Les amis de la montagne have accepted, in partnership with the Ville de Montréal, to inform park visitors of the campaign objectives. Notices are posted in park buildings and explanatory leaflets are available at the Smith House welcome and information centre.

Photo: Samuel Montigné


New publications turn the spotlight on the mountain’s historic and natural heritage

As part of “May 2010: Mount Royal Month”, Les amis de la montagne have published two new brochures, one on the history of the First Nations’ presence on the mountain and the other on the mountain’s animal species.

For thousands of years, the First Nations’ peoples travelled over the hills of Mount Royal and took advantage of its natural riches. “La presence amérindienne sur le mont Royal” is a self-guided walking tour that follows in the footsteps of prehistoric, historic and contemporary First Nations’ peoples on the mountain. The tour brochure is available in French for $2 at the Smith House nature-boutique.

A surprising biological diversity is still present on Mount Royal. The new publication, “Checklist of animal species on Mount Royal” enumerates each species and describes during which season and with what frequency visitors might observe the fauna, as well as each species’ particular status (endangered, threatened, vulnerable or of special concern).

The aim of this checklist is to understand the richness and the fragility of the mountain’s natural habitats and to raise awareness of the pressure exerted on Mount Royal’s ecosystems by intensive use and urban development. The “Checklist of animal species on Mount Royal” is available for free at the Smith House nature-boutique (in limited quantities).


The aquatic plant life of Beaver Lake, 2010 edition

For a second year and with the consent of the Ville de Montréal, Les amis de la montagne will proceed with the removal of Eurasian Watermilfoil (L. Myriophyllum spicatum) in Beaver Lake, an invasive aquatic plant that for the last several years, has threatened the beauty of the area’s landscape and disturbed the functioning of the pedal boats, a choice family activity in this sector of the park.

The Eurasian Watermilfoil is a submersed plant that takes root in aquatic plant beds and grows towards the surface where it branches out in abundance to form a thick carpet. Until the eventual restoration of the entire Beaver Lake basin, the operation entails cutting and removing the plants that reach the surface of the water, but only as a temporary measure. As is the case with the majority of invasive species, the complete removal of Eurasian Watermilfoil is next to impossible.


Work begins to reconfigure Chemin Remembrance and close the southern roadway

The reconfiguration of Chemin Remembrance is part of the Plan de transport intégré du Mont-Royal following from the Plan de transport de Montréal. The objective of this project is to make Mount Royal a site for relaxation, leisure and interpretation, both accessible and welcoming, particularly to pedestrians and cyclists.

The work consists of closing the two lanes located on the southern roadway of Chemin Remembrance. This roadway will be reconfigured to become dedicated pathways for pedestrians, cyclists and emergency vehicles. The lanes on the northern roadway will become bidirectional (one lane in either direction). An archaeological dig will be conducted on the site, additional sidewalks will be constructed and the road will be repaved.

This project began at the end of April and will continue in stages through the end of June. The work conducted will respect the natural and heritage character of the mountain.

During roadwork, reduced access will be provided to motorists. Access to the buildings and sidewalks will be permitted at all times.

Source: Ville de Montréal, “Montréal en chantier”



Guided walk: “A living mountain”, May 24

To celebrate the 134th anniversary of Mount Royal Park, inaugurated May 24, 1876, as well as to underline the International Year of Biodiversity, Les amis de la montagne invite the community to explore the richness of the mountain’s flora and fauna during a guided walk through the woods in all its springtime glory.


Great Gardening Weekend 2010 on May 28 and 29

Les amis de la montagne will join the Great Parks of the Ville de Montréal for the Great Gardening Weekend 2010 held at the Montreal Botanical Garden on May 28 and 29 to raise awareness about Mount Royal’s rich biodiversity.

Organized to celebrate the beginning of the gardening season in collaboration with the Friends of the Montréal Botanical Garden and representatives of the horticultural industry in Quebec, this annual event will gather more than 100 exhibitors and offer a wide variety of attractions for green thumbs of all ages.


Inauguration of the sculpture “Give peace a chance” on May 31

The work Give peace a chance is part of the redevelopment of the Peel entrance of Mount Royal Park, financed by the Entente sur le développement culturel de Montréal between the Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine and the Ville de Montréal.

The Peel entrance is the main access to the park from downtown Montreal. The redevelopment of this site needed therefore, to be exemplary. Teams of seasoned professionals undertook a rigorous analysis of the site to consider the ecological, landscape and functional qualities of the project. Even if the redevelopment work required was distinguished by its scope and complexity, the result needed to be perfectly integrated in the existing environment.

The work Give peace a chance was subsequently created in harmony and coherence with the site, and also to illustrate the theme of peace in all its facets. The artist Linda Covit and the landscape architect Marie-Claude Séguin, were inspired by the eponymous song by John Lennon, written in Montreal in 1969. The work consists of 180 coated limestone paving stones laid side by side on flat ground, with the text Give peace a chance engraved on 40 of the stones in as many languages. Plants have been inserted between paving stones to punctuate the surface and to echo the surrounding forest.


Photo exhibit of the “La montagne en images” contest

The photo contest "La montagne en images" is organized by Les amis de la montagne in order to highlight the riches of Mount Royal through photography. A selection of the best photographs received on the theme of nature and biodiversity will be on exhibit from May through September in the Café Smith. Click here for the regulations and details of the "La montagne en images" photo contest. (In French)


Activities of the great institutions on the mountain

The activities of eight of the mountain’s great institutions are included for a second consecutive year in the calendar of Mount Royal Month events: Musée des Hospitalières de l’Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal, Saint-Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal, Mount Royal Cemetery, the cavalry of the SPVM, McCord Museum, Redpath Museum, Université de Montréal (Les Belles Soirées) and McGill University.

Click here for the complete calendar of activities organized as part of Mount Royal Month.



“Before the mountain becomes a faded memory”: Les amis de la montagne launch the annual campaign

Close to 30 years ago, a small group of Montrealers started Les amis de la montagne because they saw a need. They knew that without education, awareness-raising and meaningful dialogue between citizens and decision-makers, Mount Royal as we know it could become a faded memory.

Today, Les amis de la montagne provides education and conservation programs on Mount Royal, and obtains philanthropic support for critical improvement projects on behalf of all mountain users.

But that’s not all. Tackling the big protection dossiers is what Les amis de la montagne do best, finding the strategies that balance accessibility and preservation that we benefit from the most.

We need your support. We need to raise $850,000 to move Les amis’ programs forward, and to pursue advocacy efforts for the year ahead.

Please give generously. Together, all members of the community can continue to enjoy the mountain and ensure it doesn’t become a faded memory.

You may make your donation via our secure online form by clicking here. If you prefer to make your donation the conventional way, please download our donation form.

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