From our Experts

Photo : © Mario Francoeur

From our Experts

After 30 Editions, The Great Mount Royal Clean-Up is Taking on a New Look!

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The Great Mount Royal Clean-Up will look different in 2023. This year, the traditional garbage collection activities will be integrated with those of the Environmental Stewardship Program (ESP), which will start in early May. This will enable us to minimize our impact on the mountain’s natural environment, involve more volunteers of all ages and, as always, celebrate this jewel that holds a privileged place in the heart of our city and our lives.

The Great Mount Royal Clean-Up has taken many forms over the years, but has always been driven by two main objectives: involving the community in protecting the mountain’s natural spaces, namely, by picking up garbage and getting together to celebrate our iconic Montreal treasure. 

Antonin St-Jean, Head of Conservation Services, says we certainly have plenty to be proud of! The data collected by the volunteer team leaders over the years shows that not only have the garbage clean-up activities been highly effective, but that visitors and citizens in general have become steadily more aware of and sensitized to the issues involved in protecting the mountain. Just imagine: the first Clean-Ups in the 1990s resulted in over 500 bags of garbage being filled every year!!! In more recent years, that number has dropped to under 20 bags a year, filled by fewer participants. This is excellent, but it means that in its current form, the Clean-Up is subjecting the underbrush to a great deal of trampling for fewer results. 

Therefore, we will be pairing this year’s garbage collecting activities with the Environmental Stewardship Program (ESP), which will begin in early May. Combining them will enable us to better target and minimize our impact on the mountain’s natural environment, as well as recruit a greater number of volunteers of all ages. All those interested in participating will therefore have to sign up for the ESP activities, which will be posted on our website before the beginning of May.

In one sense, this change in format brings us around full circle. At its very beginnings, the Clean-Up also included efforts to control invasive plants and monitor planted trees, and even citizen science projects. Making these activities part of the ESP will allow for community involvement over a longer period of the year. 

If all goes as planned, we will end the ESP season with a fun event that will gather together all the members of the great Les Amis family who have given their time and energy to the mountain. The details will be revealed in the coming weeks. 

In the meantime, you may be tempted to conduct clean-ups on your own, but it really isn’t a good idea. We invite you to read our From our Experts article from June 2022 to find out why. 

In April, stay tuned to our website and social media networks to find out how to get involved and when to register for the Environmental Stewardship Program!


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