Welcome to Les amis' newsletter - April 2011

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Les amis de la montagne was founded on April 1st, 1986, in order to oppose the construction of a tower in Mount Royal Park, twice the height of the mountain itself. 

Photo: Samuel Montigné

Brought into being by a vast coalition of citizens, business people and sister organizations, such as Héritage Montréal and Sauvons Montréal, Les amis de la montagne has pursued its mission to protect and enhance Mount Royal for 25 years. 

In the course of these 25 years, thousands of citizens and partners have joined the movement. Today, Mount Royal benefits from recognition and protection by the Ville de Montréal and the Gouvernement du Québec, as an emblematic site and national heritage. Not all objectives have been accomplished, but numerous projects have been successfully realized over time. 

Congratulations and thank you to each and every friend of the mountain, for this last quarter century! May there be many more years to come!



The Mount Royal territory: imagining the site as accessible and permeable

The Mount Royal Historic and Natural District has an abundance of highly frequented sites. Parks, universities, hospitals and cemeteries: thousands of Montrealers and tourists converge daily on this territory. 

Several transportation methods provide access to the site, including walking, cycling, bus and car, a combination that is often less than harmonious. As such, the Mount Royal Protection and Enhancement Plan suggests the option of a concerted strategy regarding accessibility to the mountain, since these methods of transportation are often inseparable. 

As one of the most important landmarks in Montreal’s urban landscape, how do we make access to Mount Royal more functional and adapted to different methods of transportation, while conserving its heritage character? How do we improve the permeability of the natural and historic district and make it more welcoming? 

For more information, please contact Firoozeh Djavedani, community relations coordinator, at 514 843-8240, ext. 241.



Revision of the Cultural Property Act: Les amis de la montagne present their position paper to the Quebec National Assembly

On March 30th, Les amis de la montagne were invited to present their position paper on the revision of the Cultural Property Act, held as part of public hearings at the Quebec National Assembly.

In their position paper, Les amis de la montagne raise a number of issues regarding protection challenges for Mount Royal, a site that was recognized by governmental decree as a natural and historic district in 2005, that remain of great concern:

Les amis’ position paper refers to these elements in its analysis of the proposed revised law, as well as in the formulation of comments and ten recommendations. To read the complete position paper, available in French, please click on this link. 


The Encyclopedia of French Cultural Heritage in North America is the top pick of the “Prix Mérites du français 2011”

The Encyclopedia of French Cultural Heritage in North America is a multimedia resource that has been online since 2008. This resource presents the rich and varied heritage assets of the French-speaking communities living all across the North American continent. The most prominent of these are portrayed, in all the diversity of their expression, uses and history, in articles supplemented with images and audio-visual media.

Les amis de la montagne contributed two articles to the Encyclopedia on the theme of Mount Royal, titled, “Parc du Mont-Royal, un précieux patrimoine naturel et culturel” and “Mont-Royal: importance de l’engagement citoyen”.

On March 10th last, the website received an honourable mention for the richness and excellence of its content during the awarding of the “Mérites du français 2011.” This award is presented each year by the Office québécois de la langue française together with several partners from the field of information technology.

Les amis de la montagne extend their heartiest congratulations to the entire production team for this wonderful and dynamic resource, an important anthology of our collective cultural heritage.



Montreal’s new Centre de la biodiversité opens its doors

Montreal is now home to the new Centre sur la biodiversité, a centre that combines preservation, scientific research and public education. The city has served as host of the Secretariat of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity since 1996.
The result of a partnership between the Université de Montréal, the Botanical Garden and the Montréal Insectarium and located in the Botanical Garden, the new Centre aims to:


Summer day camp in Mount Royal Park: still some places left

Photo: Éric Cimon

Les amis de la montagne, in collaboration with the Ville de Montréal, are pleased to offer their summer day camp for a third year. Children aged 6 to 9 years old will once again have the opportunity to discover the treasures of Mount Royal in a natural environment in the heart of Montreal.

Supervised by an experienced and passionate team of environmental educators, Les amis’ summer day camp will be offered from June 27 to August 12, for a duration of one or two weeks, consecutive or not.

Registration is open as of today. Click here for a registration form in PDF format and here for a form in Excel format (both available in French). For more information, please call us at 514 843-8240, ext. 235 or send us an email.


International Year of Forests

The United Nations (UN) declared 2011 the International Year of Forests to raise awareness on sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests on the planet, and to generate public awareness and political action towards sustainable forest management.

Mount Royal has some of the last remaining mature forests on the island of Montreal. Among their many beneficial effects, trees in an urban environment help purify the air by absorbing great quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2). In fact, trees store the greatest amount of carbon in the first decades of their growth, by incorporating it into their expanding biomass.  

Did you know, for example, that lichen diversity is a good indicator of air quality? Biodiversity is also essential for a healthy natural environment, which is why activities are organized on Mount Royal to control the spread of invasive plants such as the Norway maple and the common buckthorn. These two species colonize the forest floor at the expense of other trees, which is why tree cutting occurs in parallel to tree planting.


With the participation of over 3,000 volunteers, almost 14,000 trees have been planted on Mount Royal since 1994. As part of Les amis’ Environmental Stewardship Program (ESP), volunteers will plant hundreds of young trees of different indigenous species between May and October this year, principally in Mount Royal Park. Planting will reinforce more thinly wooded areas and zones damaged by the vagaries of the climate or human activity. For more information on the ESP, please visit Les amis’ website under the heading “Conservation activities.”


May 2011: Mount Royal Month
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. An original idea of Les amis de la montagne, the month’s activities are realized jointly with the Ville de Montréal, thanks to the generosity of TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, as well as many other partners and collaborators.

The International Year of Forests declared by the United Nations in 2011 will be celebrated during the launch activity of Mount Royal Month on Sunday, May 1st, the traditional Corvée mountain clean-up, now in its 20th year. The community is invited in large numbers to participate in several conservation activities, including litter collection, the planting of indigenous trees and shrubs and the cutting of exotic invasive species. Individual registration takes place the day-of at the Chalet du Mont-Royal between 8:45 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.

The complete calendar of Mount Royal Month events will soon be unveiled, but until then, here is a foretaste of activities to come:

For up-to-date information on events, follow Les amis de la montagne’s Facebook page.


Les amis de la montagne’s 25th Silver Anniversary Campaign

Spring is the season of nature’s renewal and the longer days of sunshine help improve our collective mood. Certain traditions accompany the arrival of springtime, such as the famous Corvée du Mont-Royal mountain clean-up, that launches the activities of May, Mount Royal Month. Les amis de la montagne also takes this time of year to launch the organization’s annual fundraising campaign to the community.

Established 25 years ago, Les amis pursues its mission to protect and enhance Mount Royal through community involvement and environmental education. Over the last years, the organization has worked diligently to obtain recognition of Mount Royal as a heritage site of national importance, to request the highest standards of management of the territory and to call for a permanent and transparent consultation process on all decisions regarding the mountain.

Thanks to your donations, Les amis de la montagne are able to perpetuate the work of an entire generation, work that was begun 150 years ago by preceding generations. Your support is essential. Les amis’ objective to raise $850,000 will allow the organization to continue developing its programs and to pursue efforts to defend the interests of the mountain throughout the year. Please click on this link to make your secure online donation today or to contact us directly, please call 514 843-8240, ext. 240.



Additional information regarding the closure of the southern lane of Remembrance Road

Last fall, Les amis de la montagne published a newsletter carrying information from the Ville de Montréal on the closure of the southern lane of Remembrance Road. Since then, some additional information has been added with regards the practice of cycling on Mount Royal. The updated document is available in French in the news section of Les amis’ website by clicking here.

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