Archive for the ‘Mouvement populaire’ Category

Four old Meadowbrook trees to be cut down

Ancient Trees Early Spriing Evening - May 10 2014 ReducedFour large old trees on Meadowbrook are expected to by cut by Hydro Quebec, initially at the request of the golf course manager and Groupe Pacific. Now that the area has been designated as a green or recreational area we need to ensure that it is properly protected and preserved. We also need to focus on retaining the character and history provided by the old trees on the property. Hydro Quebec says the trees are decaying but we do not know whether this has been verified by a certified arborist.

We are following this situation closely and urge our supporters to do the same. Please check this post for media coverage updates:

UPDATE: The trees were all cut down April 5, 2016.

Protecting the falaise St-Jacques

Part of the mission of Les Amis du Parc Meadowbrook is to connect Meadowbook park, through a greenway, to a network of parks, including the falaise St-Jacques. Until recently, many people have only been vaguely aware of the existence of the falaise St-Jacques. Now, with the Turcot Interchange under construction at the bottom of the falaise, this wooded hillside is appearing regularly in the media, and environmental groups are calling for it to be preserved as a key part of a green corridor across the southwest region of Montreal Island.P6180015-1-300x300

Falaise, the French word for cliff, perfectly describes this steep escarpment that stretches four kilometres from the Montreal West Interchange to the Decarie Expressway. Its maple, ash and poplar trees provide shelter to numerous species of migrating and nesting birds, and the woods are home to a rare population of brown snakes.

In the early 1980s, Montreal Mayor Jean Drapeau wanted to make the falaise into a park, but little came of the idea. The area has been cleaned up several times, saplings planted and the soil stabilized, but after each effort, it has been forgotten.

In 2004, the city described the falaise and Mount Royal as defining characteristics of the island’s landscape. Along with nine other green spaces, it was named an eco-territory, a natural space slated for priority protection and enhancement. Twelve years later, there is no concrete plan to protect it.P6180040-300x300

Last fall, some 165 trees were cut down at its western end to facilitate the Turcot project. The disappearance of those trees set off alarm bells for bird watcher Lisa Mintz, and she founded the group Sauvons la falaise! New trees are supposed to be planted when the highway and rail construction project is complete, but meanwhile, this has put the falaise in the media spotlight, with newspaper and television coverage and intensified calls for its preservation as a green space.

The city has recognized the historic importance of the escarpment as one of the few natural geographic features of the island to have survived relatively

untouched and easily visible over an area of several kilometres.

The falaise is also an important part of a green corridor. A corridor is a habitat, either natural or man-made, that connects isolated green spaces, making them accessible to birds and wildlife. There are green spaces at Meadowbrook, at the falaise, beside the Lachine Canal, in Angrignon Park, around the Douglas hospital and along the banks of the St. Lawrence River. Without the trees of the falaise, the distance between Meadowbrook and these other green spaces would be too great.

photos: Andy Riga

photo: Andy Riga

Recently, the Conseil régional de l’environnement de Montréal (CRE-Montréal), Les Amis du Parc Meadowbrook, Sierra Club Quebec, the Green Coalition, Sauvons la falaise! and seven  other community and environmental groups formed a new committee to pressure Transport Quebec to make the Turcot area accessible to Montrealers who want to walk or cycle across the rail tracks and highway, linking NDG with the Lachine Canal, Ville Émard and LaSalle. Planning maps from 2010 and 2012 showed a green overpass (dalle-parc) between the Lachine Canal and NDG. This bridge seems to have been eliminated from current plans.

These groups also noted that a planned walking and cycling path at the bottom of the falaise will only have two access points, one at each end of the escarpment, and they suggested this could present safety problems to users.

Les Amis du Parc Meadowbrook and these other groups will be monitoring the Turcot project closely to ensure promises to protect the falaise are kept.


More links from our web page

Andy Riga’s links, including a history of the falaise and his blog about hiking the woods

Press release issued by CRE-Montreal

Gazette article about the above press release

Gazette editorial about the falaise

Andy Riga’s 2016 article about the falaise:

All of Andy’s stuff plus pictures is available here:

Written by: Janice Hamilton

Green Coalition Environmental Award

Green Coalition Award 2015The Green Coalition presented Les Amis du Parc Meadowbrook with an award on May 14, for exceptional contribution to the environment. Campbell Stuart and Deanne Delaney were pleased and honoured to accept the award on behalf of all our volunteers and supporters over the last 25 years. Many of our steering committee members attended the Green Coalition’s AGM, which brought together many Montreal-area groups that aim to protect natural spaces.

We shared the honour with the Association for the Protection of Angell Woods (APAW). Video may be viewed here.

“It is my great honour and privilege to present Green Coalition Environmental Awards this year to two environmental groups that have set a standard for us all, ” announced award presenter, David Fletcher. He added that APAW has, “Given all Montrealers a natural treasure to celebrate,” and, “The never-say-die commitment to the saving of Meadowbrook has been the stuff of legend.

The Green Coalition presented an award to Les Amis du Parc Meadowbrook. These two landmark outcomes give heart to others with conservation goals they want to see met. Next in the immediate queue, the urgent campaign for fields of Pierrefonds West. And then beyond . . . Ile Bizard, Montreal’s east end, downtown, off-island . . . .

Let us hope that another quarter century of doggedness is not needed to achieve the 10% conservation goal set by the Coderre administration. “