Welcome to Les amis' newsletter - April 2009

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The next public forum will be held Wednesday, April 1st, 2009 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Smith House.

“Challenges and projects of Les amis de la montagne’s Environmental Stewardship Program”

Mount Royal is a fertile territory of natural environments that needs to be protected and enriched. To this end, Les amis de la montagne have undertaken planting, research and environmental monitoring activities for the last several years in collaboration with subject matter experts and the active participation of groups and citizens. Three years ago, Les amis created the Environmental Stewardship Program in order to support owners and managers of the mountain in their efforts to conserve the mountain’s natural environment.

A presentation and discussion on the challenges, strategies and projects of this program with Les amis de la montagne’s Joëlle Lapalme, coordinator of conservation activities, and Claude Drolet, conservation patroller.

For more information, contact François-Xavier Caron, public forum coordinator at 514 843-8240, ext. 241. 


A heliport on Mount Royal?!

Recent media reports have raised the question of whether our hospitals specializing in trauma care should be equipped with helicopter medical emergency services to ensure speedy response times to the most serious accident cases.

In May 2008, during the public consultations on the project to expand the Montreal General Hospital, representatives of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) confirmed that no plans were in the works to add a heliport to the mountain site, neither in current nor future projects.

Less than one year later, Les amis de la montagne are astonished to learn by media reports that a serious analysis has already been undertaken by the Ministère de la santé et des services sociaux to construct a heliport on the Montreal General Hospital site.

Considering that the Montreal General Hospital’s new trauma centre will service 56% of the Quebec territory to as far as Ungava Bay, one could presume that the addition of a heliport will bring about an increase air traffic in addition to the density of vehicular traffic already present in this sector of the mountain.

For Les amis de la montagne, this news adds to the arguments already stated in support of establishing the MUHC’s trauma centre on the more appropriate Glen site and therefore, off the mountain, a historic and natural district unique in Quebec.

The mountain has its limits!
The reuse of the building located at 1420 Boulevard Mont-Royal
The project to convert the former convent of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary into luxury condominiums on the northern flank of the mountain in Outremont is being opposed by many citizens who want to keep our major institutions on the mountain. Their concerns are founded. While it’s true that Mount Royal is currently protected by virtue of a governmental decree, it is not immune to transformation. Maintenance of the institutions located on its flanks, however, comes at a price … click to continue reading
Click here to read Les amis de la montagne’s position paper (in French) presented March 11th at the hearings of the Office de consultation publique de Montréal.
NOTE: The building project on the former site of Marianopolis College, located on Chemin de la Côte-des-Neiges and Avenue Cedar, will be open to public consultations shortly. Les amis de la montagne continue to follow the dossier.
Work begins to expand the Percival-Molson Stadium
The expansion and renovation of the Percival-Molson Stadium on the mountain is moving ahead. The work, evaluated at $29.3 million, will be financed in the amount of $19.3 million by the Gouvernement du Québec, $4 million by the Ville de Montréal and $6 million by the owner of the Montreal Alouettes Football Club, Robert Wetenhall.
The work comprises the addition of 5,000 seats, including 3,800 on the south side of the stands, 18 new corporate loges, the installation of a giant video screen score board and the relocation of the ticket counter and main entrance to Avenue du Parc. The work is slated to begin shortly and will take approximately 15 months in order to accommodate an additional 25,000 fans for the 2010 season.
Numerous modifications to the project have been made since 2006. Nonetheless, once renovated, the stadium is likely to hold more events than just the nine Alouettes’ games. It remains to be seen how the stadium will be managed by its owner in a spirit of good neighbourhood relations.
Obituary notice for Mr. Arthur Bruneau, Governor Emeritus of Les amis de la montagne
Les amis de la montagne wishes to honour Mr. Arthur Bruneau, who died at the age of 85 on December 20, 2008, at Montreal. Mr. Bruneau, a retired executive from Alcan, distinguished himself as a business leader by getting involved in the cause to protect Mount Royal since the founding of Les amis de la montagne. He was actively involved in fundraising efforts for the organization and in seeking financial partners in support of Les amis’ mission, particularly the Smith House campaign.
You may read the Obituary Notice published in The Gazette by clicking here.


New summer day camp in Mount Royal Park for children 6 to 12 years old

Les amis de la montagne proudly announce the creation of a new summer day camp in Mount Royal Park in collaboration with the Ville de Montréal. Open to children 6 to 12 years old, the camp offers a beautiful nature setting in the heart of the city.
A variety of programs are being offered depending on the child’s age and interests:
Animation will be in French. An open house and registration session will be held on Saturday, April 4 between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. and Tuesday, April 21 between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Smith House, located at 1260 Remembrance Road. For more information or to register your child, contact Noémie Poirier at 514 843-8240, ext. 235.
Conservation activities: “A community in action for Mount Royal”
Calling all individuals or groups interested in the conservation of Mount Royal’s natural environment! Get involved in Les amis de la montagne’s conservation activities, starting this spring.

For individuals, the biodiversity intervention program will improve your knowledge of conservation issues while participating directly to the maintenance of the mountain’s biodiversity. The program runs for a seven-week period and includes the identification of plant species, monitoring of previous plantings, intervention methods to control invasive species and in some cases, indigenous tree and shrub planting. The program for participants 14 years and older takes place on Tuesday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. from May 5 to June 20 and from July 7 to August 22.
For groups, the Environmental Stewardship Program consists of concrete activities on the mountain territory that supports the conservation initiatives of property owners and managers on Mount Royal and their participation in the maintenance of its biodiversity. Activities include the planting of indigenous trees and shrubs and other conservation interventions, including the monitoring of trees planted since 2003, cutting down exotic invasive species and monitoring efforts to control invasive plants.
All proposed activities are supervised by professionals and are in line the Ville de Montréal’s Mount Royal Master Protection and Enhancement Plan, as well as a scientific, research-based process aimed at increasing knowledge of the natural environment and intervention methods for its conservation.
For more information, contact Joëlle Lapalme at 514 843-8240, ext. 234.


Call for volunteers for Les amis’ annual bird inventory

There’s no better time than the springtime migration to discover Mount Royal’s diverse bird life!
Les amis de la montagne are looking for volunteer ornithologists to participate in the 3rd annual Mount Royal bird inventory. The inventory will take place from Friday, May 22 to Sunday, May 24 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. on the mountain territory, including Summit Park, Mount Royal Park, Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery and Université de Montréal.
An information session will be held Saturday, May 2 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Smith House. To participate or for more information, contact Claude Drolet at 514 843-8240, ext. 242.

Volunteers needed for the 18th Corvée du Mont-Royal

The 18th Corvée du Mont-Royal will be held Sunday, May 10, a springtime tradition where nearly 10,500 people have contributed directly to their mountain’s preservation since 1990.
Les amis de la montagne are seeking volunteers to help with the logistical arrangements of the environmental activities planned for this special day, whose theme this year is the conservation of Mount Royal’s biodiversity.
An information sheet on the day’s activities and a description of volunteer tasks are available in French. Other environmental activities are in the planning for May and June 2009 and also require the participation of volunteer team leaders. To become a volunteer or for more information, contact Claude Drolet at 514 843-8240, ext. 242.
Save the date: We invite you participate in the Corvée du Mont-Royal by registering the day-of at the Chalet near the lookout from 8:45 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 10, 2009, rain or shine. Spread the word to your family and friends!

Join the team – employment opportunities with Les amis de la montagne!

Passionate and dynamic, guided by its mission to protect and enhance Mount Royal through community involvement and environmental education, Les amis de la montagne are looking for individuals to join its educational services division. Click here for detailed information (in French) on available employment opportunities and how to apply.


“Become a Friend”
Obtain your “Friends’ card” today and you will join a family of dedicated individuals committed to the protection and enhancement of Mount Royal. “Friends' cards” are issued on an individual basis and are valid for one year from the date of purchase. Available for $20 per person, Friends receive a one-time 20% discount at Les amis’ boutique or Café Smith.
Whether you become a Friend or wish to make a larger gift and become a Donor, your contribution is vital to keeping the mountain healthy and accessible.
There are three ways to purchase your “Friends card”:
  1. In person at Smith House, located at 1260 Remembrance Road;
  2. By secure payment online;
  3. By mail: please download and print the “Become a Friend” brochure.


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