Welcome to Les amis' newsletter - July-August 2010

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Les amis de la montagne continue numerous initiatives in support of biodiversity in the city




Day camp on Mount Royal: SOLD-OUT!

Photo: Samuel Montigné, 2010

The summer season kicked off to a joyous start in Mount Royal Park! On June 28, Les amis de la montagne’s day camp re-opened its doors to youngsters 6 to 9 years old for a second year of fun and the discovery of Mount Royal’s many natural treasures in the heart of Montreal. Until August 13, Smith House and the mountain will be filled with the patter and giggles of young campers, much to the satisfaction of Les amis and our principal partner, the Ville de Montréal.

Les amis de la montagne would like to thank our campers’ parents for their vote of confidence in our program, as well as the generous donors who contributed to the day camp sponsorship program, organized in collaboration with the Centre Communautaire de la Côte-des-Neiges. In particular, Les amis thank Raymond Bachand, MP for Outremont, Minister of Finance and Minister responsible for the Montreal region, for his contribution allowing 25 children from less advantaged households to enjoy a one-week day camp experience.

Our educators, Grand Pic, Falco, Tamia and Chouette, look forward to another stellar summer with your little ones!

Culture on Mount Royal with Culture Montréal

Mount Royal Park welcomed more than 75 members of Culture Montréal for a picnic on June 18th to mark the end of springtime activities, together with Les amis de la montagne. Culture Montréal is an independent non-profit organization that gathers those interested in promoting culture as an essential component of the development of Montreal. During his address, President Simon Brault said that Les amis de la montagne was a source of inspiration for the creation of Culture Montréal as an organization that draws together citizens for the purpose of reflecting, consensus-building and taking action for the cultural cause.

Numerous participants took advantage of the spectacular weather to participate in a guided walking tour provided by Les amis de la montagne to discover the works of art and heritage elements scattered around the mountain’s natural landscapes. Les amis thank Culture Montréal for the invitation to participate in the picnic and its members for sharing this occasion and their thoughts with us during the guided walk.

 Photos : Samuel Montigné, 2010

Modernization of the CBC/Radio-Canada antenna on Mount Royal

As part of CBC/Radio-Canada’s ongoing efforts to improve its services and meet compliance standards for airwave transmission, CBC/Radio-Canada will be modernizing its antenna located at the summit of Mount Royal, used by practically all Montreal broadcasters. The work will also include the installation of equipment to facilitate the technological transfer to digital services and to extend the broadcasting range of FM radio stations.

The work will be carried out until mid-August almost completely at night, in order to minimize the impact on park users and to limit inconveniences caused by temporary service interruptions.

For questions or comments, contact Audience Relations at 514 597-6000 or write to auditoire@radio-canada.ca.

For more information, click here to visit the CBC/Radio-Canada website.


Information and supervision in the park’s picnic grounds

For the first time, the Ville de Montréal is introducing a team of supervisors to oversee the various picnic grounds and barbecue sites in Mount Royal Park from Thursday to Sunday throughout the summer season. The supervisors will do rounds of the sites in question in order to ensure they are being used for their intended purpose, to supervise activities permitted in these zones, to maintain order and adherence to the park regulations in effect.

As a reminder to all park visitors, coal burning barbecues are permitted only in areas reserved for picnics where receptacles for ashes can be found. Ashes must be disposed of in receptacles so identified. Propane gas barbecues are permitted only in areas reserved for picnics. Empty propane tanks must not be disposed of in the park. Also, alcoholic beverages may not be consumed unless accompanied by a meal in the areas reserved for picnics.



The Déclaration de la collectivité de l’île de Montréal en faveur de la protection de la biodiversité et du verdissement was launched by the Conseil régional de l’environnement de Montréal and the Ville de Montréal on April 28th during the Summit on Biodiversity and the Greening of Montreal before 250 participants from the corporate, municipal, institutional and community sectors.

This declaration, the first such collective measure undertaken by the Montreal community related to these challenges, is not an end in itself, but more the beginning of an alliance to protect and improve our green and blue heritage in an effort to sensitize all members of the community about the wealth of our natural environments in Montreal and to improve our collective quality of life.

Click here to read the declaration.



Equipped with a brand new interpretation kiosk on Mount Royal’s biodiversity, Les amis de la montagne launch their season of travelling animations each Saturday and Sunday afternoon from July 10 to September 26, alternating between the Beaver Lake sector, along the Olmsted Road and at the Kondiaronk lookout.


Travelling animation is a pedagogical technique applied for the last several years by Les amis’ environmental educators in high-traffic areas of the park in order to engage passers-by in topics related to the mountain’s conservation challenges.

The new kiosk was produced with the financial support of Gaz Métro and Groupe Yellow inc. Complete with colourful design and eye-catching content, the kiosk invites park visitors of all ages to enter, if only for a moment, the fascinating world of animals and their habitats on Mount Royal, in the midst of the city.


As part of the centennial celebrations for the teaching of forestry in Quebec, the Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune gave Les amis de la montagne a White Pine.

This symbolic tree was planted on June 22nd in Mount Royal Park by a group of Les amis de la montagne’s volunteers participating in the organization’s Environmental Stewardship Program. This White Pine was the only tree planted on the island of Montreal in honour of this teaching anniversary.

Last May, Les amis de la montagne received a recognition award from the 2010 Gala de reconnaissance en environnement et développement durable de Montréal for their Environmental Stewardship Program. Click here to learn more.

Photo : Isabelle Tassé, 2010

L to R (top row): Claude Drolet, coordinator of Les amis’ conservation services and Michel Marcoux, volunteer.
L to R (bottom row): Laurent Nikolaiczuk, volunteer, with Les amis’ Isabelle Dumais, conservation intern and Cédric Gaudry, environmental educator.


For a third consecutive year, Les amis de la montagne are collaborating on a project run by the Ville de Montréal to restore and develop our urban biodiversity on Mount Royal. Since June 29th, Mount Royal, together with the Bois-de-Liesse and Ile-de-la-Visitation nature parks, is the site of interventions related to exotic invasive species, a project that is part of the “Valorisation jeunesse – Place à la relève” program. Ten secondary school students whose academic performance makes them candidates to enter the work force will be working on Mount Royal throughout the summer.
Besides participating in a program that seeks equitable employment for all Montreal youth, this biodiversity restoration and improvement project will contribute to the eradication of one of the most prevalent exotic invasive species in Montreal’s natural environment, the common buckthorn. The interventions will help restore the habitats of flora and fauna, establish a follow-up and monitoring system of common buckthorn in targeted areas and explain to users the impact these invasive plants have on indigenous natural environments.

This project is made possible by financial contributions from the following partners: Fondation Hydro-Québec pour l’environnement, the Valorisation Jeunesse – Place à la relève program of the MICC, the MAMROT and the Ville de Montréal, the Entente sur le développement culturel between the Ville de Montréal and the MCCCF, Emploi d’été Canada and Programme C-Vert of the Stephen R. Bronfman Foundation. The students’ activities will be supervised by Les amis de la montagne, as well as by Éco-quartier du Sault-au-Récollet and Éco-quartier Pierrefonds-Roxboro.


Back again this summer, Les amis de la montagne’s Mount Royal Conservation Patrol will lead awareness-raising activities to encourage the sustainable use of the site with park visitors. Educators will patrol the paths of the park in order to discuss and explain the conservation challenges related to feeding the mountain’s wildlife, keeping dogs on their leashes, off-trail walking or cycling and bicycle speed limits on Olmsted Road, among other topics.

Moreover, each Tuesday evening, interested volunteers may join our patrollers-educators for conservation activities including indigenous tree planting and the removal of exotic invasive species. For information, call 514 843-8240, ext. 242.



Paysages Éphémères 2010: “Correspondance pour le mont Royal”

Paysages Éphémères (ephemeral landscapes) is a multidisciplinary space for artistic expression that, each year, transforms Montreal into a veritable artistic and cultural open-air laboratory. For the past six years, the event has presented a variety of works in situ, using the city as a backdrop for the exhibit.

Work by Reinhard Reitzenstein titled "Defense/Defiance", located at the du Parc-Mont-Royal intersection. Photo: Guy L’Heureux, Paysages éphémères 2010

Titled “Correspondance pour le mont Royal”, the 2010 edition of Paysages Éphémères continues until July 25. The event spills from the confines of Avenue du Mont-Royal to encompass Mount Royal. Besides the six works that form the artistic trail of this 6th edition, Paysages Éphémères is also holding an exhibit at the Plateau-Mont-Royal Maison de la Culture until August 21st. Click here for the Paysages Éphémères website.

Pedal boats and the terrace!

As with every summer season, the pedal boats have returned to the Beaver Lake basin. Rentals are available on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on weekends from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the cost of $8 for a 30 minute period. Details are available at Les amis’ rental counter located on the ground floor of the Beaver Lake pavilion.

Photo : Samuel Montigné, 2009

Beaver Lake was designed by landscape architect Frederick Todd in 1938 and remains a popular meeting place by Montrealers and attraction by tourists. The restoration of the basin is in the planning stages, the third phase of the Beaver Lake sector redevelopment after the pavilion and skating rink and children’s playground, and will include the complete cleaning of the basin floor, as well as the installation of a new water oxygenation system. In the interim, the Ville de Montréal has undertaken a removal operation to control the proliferation of exotic invasive plant species in the lake, including the Eurasian Watermilfoil (L. Myriophyllum spicatum), an invasive aquatic plant that is very difficult to eliminate.

A pleasant pedal around the lake is likely to whet one’s appetite and Café Smith is the perfect solution! Diners will delight in the convivial atmosphere of the Smith House terrace, open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., to enjoy wholesome, fine quality products, including sandwiches, salads, warm platters, hot and cold beverages, wine, St-Ambroise beer and a daily selection of sweets.

All revenues generated from Les amis’ services are reinvested in the organization’s education, awareness-raising and improvement programs for the mountain.

Exhibit of photos from the “La montagne en images” contest

The vastness of Mount Royal’s biodiversity is showcased as part of the Nature and Biodiversity category of Les amis’ “La montagne en images” photo contest, on display now in Smith House. The exhibit continues until September 2010 and the contest closes August 25, 2010. Click here for details and contest regulations (in French).



Make a Special Gift

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.

Tribute (anniversary, birthday or in honour of) or memorial gifts can be acknowledged with a special card to the person you designate, if you so desire. Be sure to tell us who you are commemorating and the name and address of the person we should notify of your gift. Your gift amount will not be disclosed.

Click here to make your gift via our secure online donation form or call 514 843-8240, ext. 239.


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