The Ice Storm: Mount Royal 15 years after!
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All Quebecers remember it. That ice storm that indelibly marked the history of Quebec. Mount Royal was not spared. During that time we devoted a special newsletter explaining the impact on the mountain’s forest as well as interventions and research undertaken.
Since the ice storm, thanks to generous donors and financial partners as well as thousands of volunteers, Les amis de la montagne have given a helping hand to the forest by replanting more than 17,000 trees and bushes on Mount Royal.
Impact on the forest: the arrival of invasive species…
Our field studies and interventions have revealed that openings in the forest caused by felling trees following the ice storm have fostered the growth of numerous invasive species, especially common buckthorn.
In 2003, Les amis set up a research project to evaluate the effectiveness of cutting buckthorn stems to control this species. In recent years, field activities were carried out in collaboration with the Ville de Montréal in Mont-Royal Park and on property of institutional land owners on the mountain to try to eradicate this invasive species. The work is colossal.
…and new habitats for urban wildlife
The ice storm may also have played a favourable role for several species of birds and mammals that find shelter in the cavities created by broken tree branches. These same branches have also allowed borer insects to multiply providing an abundance of food for woodpeckers that are observed much more frequently in the park since the ice storm.
Sustained stewardship efforts
The ice storm has permitted us to look more closely at the forest dynamics and thus better understand its evolution. However, it remains that the forest of Mount Royal will continually be faced with new disruptions, whether global warming, the arrival of the Emerald Ash Borer or damage caused by too much human pressure on the natural environment.
We must remain vigilant and continue actions to maintain the richness of this mature forest in the heart of the city. And one of the ways to help is to participate in the Environmental Stewardship Program of which the next event is Sunday, May 5, 2013 on the occasion of the 22nd Corvée du Mont-Royal!
Text by Sylvie Guilbault and Éric Richard
ACTIVITIES IN JANUARY
Winter on the mountain 150 years ago
The historic charm of Maison Smith is the perfect backdrop for visitors of all ages to take a plunge back in time with Les amis de la montagne and relive the wintertime traditions of the 19th Century.
© Musée de la civilisation, don de la famille Roger Couillard, photographe Nicola-Frank Vachon - Perspective, 2007-543
ACTIVITIES TO COME...
Demonstration of sash weaving
Demonstration of snowshoe making
Winter tales and the fantastic story of Mont Royal
At Maison Smith, seek inspiration from the traditional storyteller Daniel Boiteau before participating in a creative workshop involving shadow theatre. Free admission.
Download the Trail map of Ville de Montreal ((Cross-country ski trails 22 km / Snowshoe marked trail 3 km / Walk trail - Chemin Olmsted 8,3 km)