Welcome to Les amis' newsletter - August 2011
Click here if this message is not displayed properly.
THE GOOD NEWS
Mount Royal is at the top of Spacing’s Top 10 list
Mount Royal has been ranked the number one public space in Montreal by Spacing magazine, a publication dedicated to urban planning, architecture and urban life. A superb photo of the Kondiaronk lookout graces the cover of the special Montreal edition.
Beaver Lake will undergo a major restoration
The Ville de Montréal recently announced that work will begin to restore the basin of Beaver Lake and its perimeter. A make-work project of the depression-era 1930s, this man-made lake and its surrounding area is in need of a major restoration. The work will include the reconstruction of the supporting stone wall and the adjacent waterfall, as well as the improvement of water circulation and the elimination of undesirable vegetation.
Work to improve the Beaver Lake sector began with the impetus of a $2 million donation to Les amis de la montagne from Power Corporation of Canada for the restoration of the Beaver Lake pavilion and the construction of a refrigerated skating rink in 2005-2006. The restoration of the nearby children’s playground and surrounding area followed in 2008-2009. The work on the lake will complete the renovations in this popular area of the park while respecting the historic qualities of the site and taking into consideration the recreational needs of park users, especially families.
For more information, click on this link to read the Ville de Montréal’s press release (in French).
A project to eradicate common buckthorn bears fruit
Les amis de la montagne participated for a third year in the Projet de restauration et de valorisation de la biodiversité en milieu urbain, led by the Ville de Montréal, the Fondation Hydro-Québec de l’environnement and other partners.
About 30 high-school graduates participated in the project, providing them with a valuable first-time work experience. The project consisted of the eradication of common buckthorn, an exotic invasive species, on Mount Royal’s summits and flanks, as well as in the Ile-de-la-Visitation and Bois-de-Liesse nature parks.
Les amis contributed to the project by managing and organizing the activities, and supervising the students.
For more information, click here to read the press release of the Ville de Montréal (in French).
The wood duck makes its first appearance on Mount Royal
Les amis de la montagne are thrilled to be able to add a new species to its annotated list of fauna: the wood duck (Aix sponsa) has made its first appearance in Beaver Lake!
Considered one of the most beautiful ducks in North America, the male has highly colourful nuptial plumage and a drooping crest. His head is brilliant green and blue, changing to purplish black below the eyes. The female is duller in colour, with a shorter crest. Her head is brownish grey with a white eye-ring.
The female produces one or sometimes two clutches, the collection of eggs laid at once, per year. Wood ducks like to nest in tree cavities formed by woodpeckers. They will also use nesting boxes provided for them.
Since the wood duck returns to its native nesting grounds, the wildlife specialists at Les amis de la montagne and the Ville de Montréal are already considering installing nesting boxes for this species at Beaver Lake. Given the restoration work slated for this area, the park’s marsh could serve as an alternative breeding site.
Remember, feeding animals in the park is prohibited; the wood duck eats fruit, seeds and land and aquatic plants, as well as insects, found in the park.
With information from the website of the Biodôme de Montréal
THE BAD NEWS!
The emerald ash borer has been confirmed in Montreal
Bad news for our urban forest: the emerald ash borer has been detected on the island of Montreal.
The emerald ash borer is a highly destructive invasive beetle that attacks ash trees and is believed to have been accidentally introduced to North America in imported wood packaging or crating material. The emerald ash borer is already believed to have killed millions of trees in the United States and Canada, and poses a threat to Montreal’s urban forest. There are some 45,000 ash trees in the streets of Montreal, or about 20% of all street trees.
Les amis de la montagne and the Ville de Montréal stopped planting ash trees on Mount Royal in 2007 as a preventive measure. To help stop the spread of this invasive beetle, citizens are asked to not move potentially infested wood and firewood to non-infested areas.
Additional information is available on the Canadian Food Inspection website or by calling 1-866-463-6017.
Launch of Les amis’ 2011-2012 school programs
Attention teachers! The beginning of August has arrived and back-to-school fashions fill the stores and advertisements flood our TVs! Galvanize your students from the get-go by offering them an unforgettable educational experience in the great outdoors!
Whether your goal is to complement classroom content through hands-on fieldwork or simply to enjoy winter recreational activities in the heart of the city, Mount Royal is the destination of choice for the discovery of a unique natural environment: landscapes, fauna, flora and geology.
At Les amis de la montagne’s “school without walls”, our environmental education programs are suitable for all age groups and may be adapted to specific pedagogical objectives.
Click on this link consult the 2011-2012 school program guide.
For more information or to make a reservation, call 514 843-8240, ext. 235.
The Environmental Stewardship Program moves to Saturday mornings
Would you like to do your part this summer to conserve the biodiversity of Mount Royal? Then come and join other citizens for a variety of conservation activities, such as planting indigenous trees, cutting exotic invasive species or evaluating previous tree plantings, every Saturday morning from 10 a.m. to noon, through October 2011. You don’t have to reserve your place, simply show up at Smith House on the day of the activity to join the conservation patrol educators of Les amis de la montagne.
For further questions, please click here to send us an email message.
Photo contest “La montagne en images”: deadline September 17
You still have time to participate in Les amis de la montagne’s 2nd edition of the photo contest “La montagne en images”, presented by the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. The purpose of the photo contest is to showcase Mount Royal’s heritage elements, activities and sheer beauty.
Keep in mind the following contest categories this year:
Photographs of contest winners will be on exhibit at the Café des Amis at Smith House in the fall of 2011. The contest deadline is September 17.
Click on this link to download the contest rules and application form (available in French).
New interactive circuits help you explore the biodiversity in Montreal’s large parks
Les amis de la montagne participated in the launch of a new family activity conducted in the heart of urban nature: a series of interactive circuits to discover the biodiversity of 10 of Montreal’s large parks. The Ville de Montréal produced the different circuits together with the Montreal Urban BioKit, a tool developed in collaboration with the Biosphere, Environment Museum of Environment Canada.
The BioKit features the history, natural particularities, endangered and invasive species of each park. Each circuit can be completed in about 90 minutes and also provides recommendations on ways participants can improve the environment.
Click on this link to download the circuits for the city’s large parks and the Montreal Urban BioKit from the Environment Canada website.
YOUR TURN TO TAKE ACTION
Vote now, vote often!
As part of their "Share your care" campaign, Fido and Evergreen have committed $100,000 to 20 community projects, including Les amis’ Environmental Stewardship Program “Befriending the mountain”!
Until August 14, you can VOTE ONCE A DAY for Les amis' project by clicking this link to the campaign website.
The project with the most votes wins the grand prize, but every project wins something. Here's the break down:
Results will be revealed at the end of August. Thank you for your support!
Make a special gift to Les amis de la montagne
Making a tribute gift to Les amis de la montagne is one way to honour the accomplishments of friends or family, while contributing to the protection and enhancement of Mount Royal. Likewise, when a loved one passes away, a gift to Les amis de la montagne can be a touching memorial.
Click on this link for details.