Welcome to Les amis' newsletter - November 2010
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Les amis de la montagne are proud to renew their partnership with the Ville de Montréal in the implementation of the Montréal Community Sustainable Development Plan 2010-2015.
Biodiversity pays! Publication of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity study
Launched as part of the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10) in Nagoya, Japan on October 20th, and fruit of a vast international study, the UN-sponsored report entitled, The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB), demonstrates that the value attributed to “natural capital” can have significant economic benefits.
The Three Summits guided walking tour makes the front page!
The Three Summits guided walking tour is an immersive, sensorial experience, a voyage across the mountain’s heritage sites and natural spaces that leaves no one indifferent in the face of its majesty and its fragility.
Offered over four Sundays in October by Les amis de la montagne for the last 20 years, participation this fall reached new heights thanks to front page coverage in La Presse and a three-page article in the Voyage section on October 6th last.
The Canonization of Brother André: a monumental event in the history of St-Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal
Photo: Les Archives de l'Oratoire Saint-Joseph
On October 17th last, the founder of St. Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal joined the Saints of the Universal Church. A joyful and proud atmosphere permeated the area on this exceptional day, as pilgrims from across Quebec, Canada, the United States and beyond gathered to experience Brother André’s rise to sainthood within the very sanctuary he brought to life and left as his legacy. In the crypt of the Oratory, more than 1,000 people spent the night from Saturday to Sunday to watch Brother André’s canonization ceremony on a giant screen broadcast from the Vatican, presided by Pope Benedict XVI.
Photo: Ville de Montréal
In 1904, Brother André built a chapel on land facing the Collège Notre-Dame with the help of donations. More donations made way for the expansion of this chapel and the addition of a crypt in 1914, later to become the Oratory we know today.
To learn more about the history of Brother André, we invite you to climb the virtual steps of the Oratory via their website.
To understand the history and traditions of a local community, visit its cemeteries!
Photo: F.-N. Étienne
Cemeteries are a religious and socio-cultural heritage to be preserved and promoted. Such is the conclusion of an analysis published October 20th last by the Réseau de veille en tourisme, Quebec’s reference in international tourism trends.
Manulife Financial provides “green and blue” support to Mount Royal!
Despite atrocious weather, more than 40 employees from Manulife Financial joined Les amis de la montagne in Mount Royal Park on October 15th last to plant 200 indigenous trees and shrubs and to cut exotic invasive plant species. Nicole Boivin, Senior Vice-President, Human Resources and Communications, Manulife Financial - Canadian Division, used this occasion to announce the renewal of Manulife Financial’s principal partnership with Les amis de la montagne for the 2011 edition of the Tuques Bleues Celebration and Snowshoe Event, Les amis’ signature fundraiser. Mary Bruns Creighton, co-chair of Les amis’ annual campaign, was present to receive the good news.
A big thank-you to the volunteers of the 2010 Environmental Stewardship Program
In this International Year of Biodiversity, members of the Montreal community demonstrated a remarkable collective effort by participating in record numbers in tree planting and invasive species cutting on Mount Royal!
Awareness-raising campaign on the hazards of feeding raccoons
The awareness-raising campaign undertaken by Les amis de la montagne and the Ville de Montréal in October will continue until November 16th on the Camillien-Houde lookout, in order to inform visitors of the importance of refraining from feeding or petting raccoons as a health and safety precaution. Moreover, this behaviour encourages the raccoons to develop dependencies on humans and causes them to progressively lose their survival instinct.
More than 100 visitors have been approached by Les amis’ patrollers thus far and after three weeks of noise, visual and olfactory interventions targeted at the raccoons, the patrollers have already noticed a positive change in the raccoons’ behaviour. The noise interventions that include recordings of coyote howls seem to be most conclusive in keeping the raccoons at a safe distance from the lookout, forcing them to search for their food in their natural habitat.
Visitors are reminded that the Ville de Montréal’s by-law RCG 10-016, chapter V, article 12, stipulates that anyone visiting or frequenting a park is prohibited to feed or abandon any animal in the park. Contraventions of this by-law may result in fines ranging from $100-$300.
The Conservation Patrol and park surveillance: for a healthy and welcoming environment
Over and above the awareness-raising duties carried out by Les amis’ Conservation Patrol with visitors in Mount Royal Park, the patrol also collaborates with various municipal authorities in order to curb or reduce acts of delinquency or behaviours with negative impact on the natural environment.
As founding partners of the Association québécoise pour la promotion de l’éducation relative à l’environnement (AQPERE), Les amis de la montagne are participating in the association’s annual conference being held November 4-6 that gathers local specialists in this important domain.
Reminder – the registration period is open for Jackrabbit cross-country ski lessons
Les amis de la montagne are accepting registrations for the Ski de Fond Québec “Jackrabbit” initiation courses in cross-country skiing for children on Mount Royal. The registration period will close on January 3, 2011.
The Jackrabbit program is suited for children 6 to 10 years old and initiates students to both classical and freestyle cross-country skiing. The program features 4 levels and places an emphasis on the progressive integration of other ski-related knowledge and techniques. To ensure that students perfect their style while having fun, the instructor will use a variety of pedagogical materials including activity cards, games, races, relays and trails.
The lessons include one evaluation session followed by seven (7) 1.5 hour lessons scheduled on 8 consecutive Saturdays from January 8 to February 26, 2011, at 10 a.m. and at 12:30 p.m. The cost of the program is $230 including rental equipment (boots, skis and poles) or $185 without the equipment rental.
To register for the Jackrabbit program, please come in person to complete the registration form and make the payment in full:
For more information, please call 514 843-8240, ext. 0 or send us an email.
Show your attachment to Mount Royal!
Last May, Les amis de la montagne launched their annual giving campaign under the banner Before Mount Royal becomes a faded memory – show your attachment to Mount Royal! Many citizens responded positively to the campaign. If you haven’t made your contribution yet, we are counting upon your generosity, especially as the year comes to an end!
The $850,000 campaign goal will allow Les amis de la montagne to develop educational and conservation activities, and to pursue advocacy efforts for the preservation of the mountain. Your support of these initiatives that benefit the entire community is essential.
Show your attachment to Mount Royal today: make your secure donation online via our website. We hope to be able to count you among our donors this year.
WORK SITES ON MOUNT ROYAL
Preparatory work for the renewal of the permanent exhibit in Smith House
The main floor of Smith House is undergoing renovations throughout November in preparation for Les amis de la montagne’s new permanent exhibit. Designed to highlight the heritage elements of the entire territory of Mount Royal, the new exhibit will offer a variety of novel learning tools for the general public.
Temporary draining of Beaver Lake in Mount Royal Park
Beaver Lake in Mount Royal Park has been drained temporarily, but will be refilled again in December. Activities in the area will continue as usual and the pathway encircling the lake will remain accessible.
Source: Ville de Montréal, Réseau des grands parcs
Closure of the southern lane and reconfiguration of Remembrance Road
The work that has been undertaken on Chemin Remembrance, provided for in the Ville de Montréal’s Plan de transport, is part of a larger enhancement project for Mount Royal. The interventions to date, as well as those to come, are in keeping with the Mount Royal Protection and Enhancement Plan and aim to render the mountain more accessible and welcoming to all users.
Source: Ville de Montréal, Réseau des grands parcs