Welcome to Les amis' newsletter - April 2013
2013-04-15

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Photo: Joanne Levesque


INVITATION TO THE PUBLIC FORUM

DOSSIERS
NEWS
ACTIVITIES
WORKSITES MONT ROYAL
TAKE ACTION

 


INVITATION TO THE PUBLIC FORUM

 
THE GOVERNANCE OF A PUBLIC GOOD: WHAT IS THE BEST APPROACH FOR MONT ROYAL?
Towards the Sommet du Mont Royal in spring 2013

The governance of a site like Mont Royal is complex. The territory is vast, the stakeholders are many and their interests are varied. For the last 25 years, the mountain has been governed under a variety of consultation, management and administrative structures. Are our decision-makers today equipped with the tools they need to govern Mont Royal? Are the structures currently in place sufficient to respond to the mountain’s protection challenges today and in the future? Do property owners and citizens have a voice in deciding the future of their mountain?

The speakers at Les amis’ next public forum will be invited to answer these questions and to share a variety of experiences concerning the governance of a public good in Quebec and elsewhere.

Join us to learn more about this issue and to exchange your opinions and ideas.
Click here to obtain the STM schedule of the number 11 bus on Mount Royal.
 

DOSSIERS
 
 
SALE OF THE ROYAL VICTORIA AND HÔTEL-DIEU HOSPITALS ON MONT ROYAL
 
Les amis de la montagne deplore the fact that only the usual legal process was initiated by the Agence de santé et des services sociaux de Montréal to decide the future of these two large institutional properties situated on Mont Royal, a designated heritage site.
 
Read the press release issued by Les amis de la montagne on April 4, 2013.
 
Watch the Radio-Canada broadcast on April 9, 2013.

Photo: Blake Gumprecht (Flickr)


NEWS
 
 
LOOKING BACK ON THE WINTER SEASON ON MONT ROYAL
Despite a winter of incredible contrasts – snow, rain and cold in alternation – and the restoration work on the Beaver Lake basin and its perimeter, with no natural skating rink on the lake and a site under construction, citizens and tourists came in great numbers to participate in winter sports in Mont-Royal Park!
 
Many activities were a great success such as cross country skiing and snowshoeing on marked trails. Cross country ski courses for children and adults were taken by more than 300 people, snowshoe outings for groups attracted 340 participants and guided snowshoe tours on Saturday evenings “By the light of the city” attracted 515 people. At Les amis’ rental counter in the Beaver Lake pavilion, 32,000 outdoor equipment rentals were made from mid-December to mid-March.

“Winter on the mountain 150 years ago” delighted more than 300 visitors who, each weekend, from January 12 to February 24, came to visit Smith House to participate in diverse activities and relive old time traditions such as demonstrations by specialists on making snowshoes and traditional Québécois sashes (ceinture fléchée), photo exhibitions and historical illustrations, tales of winter and traditional dance evenings.

Les amis helped 1,200 young people from schools in the region discover winter on Mont Royal. For many of them, the educational trips to Mont Royal were their first experience of winter and allowed them to discover the strategies developed by flora and fauna to face the rigours of the climate.
 
The mountain continues to welcome a great number of snowshoers as Montreal’s most accessible destination for this pastime for over 150 years.. We had the good fortune to welcome a snowshoe artisan at Maison Smith who shared his passion for this traditional sport. As part of their school activities on Mont Royal nearly 800 young people were able to learn of this tradition and follow in the footsteps of the Tuques Bleues snowshoe club.
 
Lastly, the project “Semences d’avenir pour le mont Royal et une ville plus verte” continued with over twenty classes from eight participating schools. The students were able to see the green of leaves before everyone else by growing hundreds of trees in their classrooms (oaks, maples, pines and chicots) which will continue to grow at the end of may in the tree nursery at the Université de Montréal.

It is not only the birds who take advantage of the feeders! From mid-November until the early April, thousands of visitors to Mont-Royal Park took advantage of the special observation posts on chemin Olmsted. They allowed a close-up appreciation of the beauty and the behaviour of winged fauna of exceptional species such as the black-capped chickadee, barred owl and hoary redpoll. In addition, it is often in proximity of the feeders that one can catch sight of birds of prey surveying the comings and goings of potential victims!

Les amis would like to thank warmly Gilles Burelle who faithfully filled the seven feeders on the loop of the summit, twice a week, good weather and bad, for the past five years! This winter, he alone gave 70 hours of his time and transported 310 kilos sunflower and thistle seeds! Thank you Gilles! 
Les amis de la montagne participate each winter in the FeederWatch program where the public is invited to volunteer in this national inventory that gathers valuable information to help researchers track populations of wintering birds at feeders.
 
This winter, 31 volunteers conducted the inventory in Mont-Royal Park over a period of 22 weeks.
 
Species of birds observed (in order of importance) – Winter 2013
 
Common Redpoll
Black-capped Chickadee
White-breasted Nuthatch
American Goldfinch
House Finch
Downy Woodpecker
Dark-eyed Junco
Hoary Redpoll
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Cardinal
Tufted Titmouse
American Robin
American Crow
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Rock Pigeon
Barred Owl
Pine Grosbeak
 

PHOTO ALBUM OF THE TUQUES BLEUES CELEBRATION: RELIVE UNFORGETABLE MOMENTS OF THE EVENING!
 
600 Montrealers experienced a memorable evening on the mountain last February 21; a climb on snowshoes in the forest paths by lantern light followed by a festive gathering at the magnificent Mont Royal Chalet.
 
See the photo album of the 2013 Tuques bleues Celebration.
 
Thank you to photographers Karine Gagné, Andrew Dobrowolskyj and Tzara Maud.

 

REDUCE YOUR STRESS BY STROLLING IN THE PARK…
 
Scientists have long known that the ability of the human brain to stay calm and concentrated is limited in an urban environment where noise and constant activity are omnipresent, resulting in a condition of “mental fatigue” which causes us to be easily distracted and results in loss of memory.
 
A new study from Scotland suggests that it is possible to relieve this problem by simply walking in a green space.
 
Are you stressed? Then come and stroll in Mont-Royal Park!
 
Read more about the study in a New York Times article published February 4, 2013.

 

ACTIVITIES
 
 
MAY 2013: MONT ROYAL MONTH – AN OVERVIEW OF THE ACTIVITIES
 
Activities in the month of May allow participants to discover the different facets of the mountain and its conservation issues. They will also raise awareness about the diversity, fragility and the importance of the historic, cultural and natural heritage of Mont Royal.
 
Activities in “May 2013: Mont Royal Month” are offered by Les amis de la montagne in partnership with the Ville de Montréal and the principal partners TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, Produits forestiers Résolu, as well as the large institutions of Mont Royal and other collaborators.
 
This 9th edition proposes, among other things, environmental actions, conferences, guided walks, exhibitions, a photo contest, a conference on biodiversity and a musical Sunday in the Mont Royal Chalet.
 
The full program of “May 2013: Mont Royal Month” will be officially unveiled soon, but in the meantime here’s a taste of what’s in store:
 
“Conserving the biodiversity of the mountain by greening and connectivity initiatives”
 
Inscriptions entre 8 h 45 et 9 h 30, au Chalet du Mont-Royal
 
Calling all volunteers! We are still looking for volunteers to help with logistics of the event. If you are interested, please contact 514 843-8240, ext. 242 or benevoles@lemontroyal.qc.ca

 

SUMMER DAY CAMP ON MONT-ROYAL - A FEW PLACES STILL AVAILABLE
 
The Mont Royal summer day camp is very popular but there are still a few places available for the week of June 24 – Register now!
 
Availability for ages 6 to 8:

Availability for ages 9 to 11:

To register your child, please download the registration form in PDF format or Excel and return it by fax to 514 843-8255 or by email at reservations@lemontroyal.qc.ca, with payment by cheque by mail within 5 working days of registration.

For full camp program details, please download the 2013 day camp brochure.


SUGAR SHACK AT PERCY-WALTER PARK, SATURDAY, APRIL 27
 
For food lovers young and old alike, the Éco-quartier Peter-McGill is organizing a sugar shack this spring on Saturday, April 27 in Percy-Walter Park on the south slope of Mont Royal.
 
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. you can taste a traditional meal and participate in many activities thanks to the collaboration of several partners: Association du Village Shaughnessy, Association des familles du parc Percy-Walter, Arrondissement Ville-
Marie et Tandem Ville-Marie.
 
The Eco-quartier Peter-McGill will make sure that this event is eco-friendly by offering a collection of large and small used batteries, electronic devices and by using reusable dishes.
 
For more information contact the Eco-quartier Peter-McGill at 514 933-1069 or by e-mail: qualitedevie@eco-quartierpm.org.


PRODUCTIONS LA BOITE LUMINEUSE IS SEARCHING FOR PEOPLE WHO VISIT THE MOUNTAIN CEMETERIES
 
Productions La Boîte Lumineuse is producing a documentary on people who visit the mountain cemeteries on a regular basis for other than commemorative purposes, e.g., walking, birding, photography, etc., in order to illustrate “the life” of the cemetery. The Notre-Dame-des-Neiges cemetery will be featured in particular. The production company is searching for people willing to provide a testimonial, with interviews to take place this summer 2013. Participants will be invited to the preview of the film.
 
To participate or for more information, please contact François Laflamme at 438-878-7065 or laflammf@hotmail.com.
 

WORKSITES ON MONT ROYAL

WORK RESUMES ON THE RESTORATION OF THE BASIN AND PERMIMETER OF BEAVER LAKE

Restoration work on Beaver Lake by the Ville de Montréal that began from June, 2012 to February, 2013, has resumed. This first phase includes the restoration of the stone wall surrounding the lake, reshaping the bottom of the lake and the construction of a pumping station.
 
Better water circulation will prevent algae buildup during the summer and improve water level management assuring smoother ice for skaters during the winter.
 
To learn a brief history of Beaver Lake and for an overview of phase 1 of the work, consult the booklet “Il était une fois le lac aux Castors” produced by Les Amis de la montagne in collaboration with the Ville de Montréal and available at the Café des Amis in Maison Smith.
 
OPEN DURING CONSTRUCTION
 
Maison Smith
Pavillon du Lac-aux-Castors
Restaurant Le Pavillon
Sports equipment rental service at the Pavillon du Lac-aux-Castors
Salamandre playground
Picnic area (near the playground)
Large parking lot adjacent to the Pavillon du Lac-aux-Castors
Parking lots close to Maison Smith
 
Please note: it is possible that certain work may be scheduled on weekends.
 
For more information, dial 311 (Ville de Montréal) or visit the Website of the Division des grands parcs.
 

WORK RESUMES ON RUE REDPATH-CRESCENT
 
The Direction de l’eau potable of the Ville de Montréal informs citizens that major work will resume on the aqueduct and sewer line in rue Redpath-Crescent, between Cedar and des Pins. Work will begin in the first week of April and should be finished by the beginning of summer, 2013.
 
For more information, consult the notice to residents from the Ville de Montréal.
 

TAKE ACTION
 
Mont Royal – such a unique and distinctive part of the Montreal landscape – we can brag that we have the most beautiful mountain in the city!
 
To make sure it lasts for the benefit of present and future generations, Les amis de la montagne take advantage of every opportunity: day camps, forums, the environmental stewardship program, outdoor activities for school groups and the general public, land use advocacy, etc.
 
Make a gift before next April 30 and help us reach our year-end goal of $750,000! Our capacity to protect the mountain and maintain the excellence of our educative and conservation programs depends on your generosity!


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