An environmental first for Montreal

    Montreal’s first citizen conference on the protection of natural spaces, Forum Nature, was held at the Maison du Développement Durable April 16, 2016. More than 100 academics, scientists, and environmental experts, from over 40 organizations, shared research and ideas about how to protect Montreal’s few remaining green spaces. The Charter for the Protection of Montreal’s Green Spaces and Natural Environments (Green Charter) was developed and approved at this historic forum.

    At the May 16, 2016 Montreal City Council meeting, the Green Charter was presented and copies were distributed to the mayor and city councilors.

    Why a Green Charter and why now?

    At the beginning of 2015, the Montreal Agglomeration, under the Coderre administration, promised to protect 10% of Montreal Island as natural space. Since then, the City has allocated no budget, set no timetable and provided no specifics about the location of that 10%. The truth is that only 5.34% of the island is protected, and only 2.21% of this small amount was added over the last 24 years!

    At the same time, major development projects threaten to destroy some of the few remaining unprotected green spaces including the L’Anse-à-L’Orme Corridor in western Pierrefonds and Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Golf Anjou, Technoparc and Dorval municipal golf course.

    Montreal must formulate a coherent policy and act quickly to meet its goal of protecting 10% of the Island. Otherwise, these green spaces will be lost.

    Responding to the need for immediate action, city planners, biologists, sociologists, economists, and public health and social housing experts took it upon themselves to tackle this important issue at the Forum. The Green Charter, an urgent call to action, emerged from this historic first in Montreal. 

    Charte Verte Montreal Green Charter

    St. Patrick’s Day Parade

    The gang from Les Amis du parc Meadowbrook (the fox, the rabbit, along with various birds and trees) gathered together downtown before marching in the 2017 St. Patrick’s Day parade. Don Hobus photo.

    Nature in the City

    Transition NDG invited us to collaborate on their first Nature in the City series. Les Amis du Parc Meadowbrook now has some new friends in the neighbourhood and we were able to work closely with our sister groups: Sauvons la Falaise, Sauvons L’Anse-a-l’Orme and TechnoparcOiseaux.  We’ve stomped through the snow at L’Anse-a-l’Orme, braved a windy day at Falaise St. Jacques and padded our way across icy paths around the Meadowbrook perimeter. Thank you to presenters and dedicated tour guides Sue Stacho, Louise Legault, Lisa Mintz, Louise Chenevert and Joel Coutu.

    We also thank Kathryn Aitken and Hélène Montpetit for all their work, and their commitment to the connections between green spaces and people. You can learn more about Transition NDG projects by visiting them on Facebook.

    We wind up our series with Lost Rivers, a film about daylighting rivers, on March 21. We’ll learn about Montreal’s St Pierre River, which can be seen at Meadowbrook and used to travel through the falaise and down to the Turcot, where it once fed an ancient lake. Details on Facebook

    There was a walk around the perimeter of Meadowbrook as part of the Nature in the City series of conferences and nature walks organized by Transition NDG, Les amis du parc Meadowbrook and several other organizations. Meadowbrook is still a privately owned golf course, but our long-term goal is to see it become an urban nature park, accessible to all.