Since 1990, the Montréal community has gathered together every first Sunday of May to clean up the wooded areas of Mount Royal Park with Les amis de la montagne and the City of Montréal. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this annual tradition will not take place.

photo: Frédérique Ménard-Aubin

However, if you have been visiting Mount Royal Park recently, you may have noticed a lot of waste on the mountain and would like to help clean it. Despite the good intention, this action should be avoided for several reasons:
  1. You run the risk of being contaminated by COVID-19 by handling waste and of interfering with collective efforts to mitigate its spread. Of course, you can take the necessary precautions to protect yourself, but there is still a risk. Other public health issues include the risk of finding biomedical waste such as needles, dirty tissues or others. Furthermore, you may endanger the employees who are responsible for collecting trash if you dispose of this type of waste in the park’s garbage bins. Throughout the years, Les amis de la montagne’s team makes sure to implement waste collection protocols to address these issues during our annual clean-up day.
  2. Walking off trail has a high environmental impact. Some zones are very vulnerable to trampling whereas others are home to endangered or protected plant species. Moreover, many animals take shelter under leaves, rocks and branches and you risk disturbing them and even causing their mortality. By venturing off the trail to pick up waste, you thus risk having a significant impact on biodiversity.
  3. If you still want to do your part to make the mountain cleaner, why not always carry a small plastic bag for your personal waste (Kleenex, snack packaging, etc.) in order to throw it away at home after your walk. It's a small gesture in the spirit of the 7 Leave no Trace principles that counts for a lot! This way, the wind and the animals do not risk dispersing the waste in the park.
Mountain lovers and nature enthusiasts will be delighted to know that Les amis de la montagne is currently working to set up citizen clean-up actions that will be deployed once the restrictions have lifted. We will adapt our practices to comply with public health guidelines.

Stay tuned!
Notice to visitors : Latest Updates in Mount Royal Park