It was a break from the usual bleak covid news. On June 13th about 100 Rosemerites participated in the first Forum on the Environment organized and set up thanks to an initiative of the Town of Rosemère’s Civic Committee on the Environment (CCE). The event focused on themes as varied as an introduction to zero waste, natural environments, biodiversity and drinking water conservation.
Past and future projects
Speaking to mayor Westram, one could feel the pride not only for the towns environmental track record, but also about what has been accomplished and the excitement of things to come. The pandemic also gave people a different appreciation for parks and open spaces urging forward every effort for green development.
One of the biggest projects accomplished was the planting of 600 trees in the back of Sacre Coeur School where Rosemère owns 10 hectares of land. What made this planting particularly significant was the fact that the students and the students of the school were involved increasing awareness for the environment as well as the sense of pride one has when nurturing green life. During the forum, through a video clip, Rosemère resident Michel Leboeuf, a biologist and initiator of the tree-planting project in the Forêt des Frères du Sacré-Coeur, announced that the trees that had been planted a year ago, in the spring of 2019, have a survival rate of over 90%. Through this volunteer planting effort, the Forêt des Frères du Sacré-Coeur, which is a true ecological jewel for the Rosemère community, has doubled in size
Feminine hygiene products
At the opening of the Forum, the CCE had the opportunity to be the first to announce that, starting July 13, Rosemère residents will be able to benefit from a financial assistance program that can cover up to $40 of the cost of purchasing sustainable feminine hygiene products. This announcement is in addition to the range of green grants already in place for Rosemère residents. This perfectly set the stage for the first conference of the day “An Introduction to Zero Waste”, by Cindy Trottier, founder of Circuit Zéro Déchet. At the same time, since June is the month when we celebrate water by raising awareness of this priceless natural resource, Émilie Lapalme-Gendron, a member of the CCE, produced a short video on tips and tricks for better drinking water conservation.
Grants for births
The town also offers grants to encourage residents towards the green life in Rosemère. New parents can apply for a $150 rebate against the purchase of a tree or other type of vegetation (such as a bush or shrub) to plant on their property to commemorate the birth of their child. Rosemere also offers families the possibility of applying for a rebate of up to $150 per eligible child against the purchase of a set of washable baby diapers.
Biodiversity and natural environments
On the subject of biodiversity and natural environments, Anaïs Boutin, Director of Protection and Conservation Programs at Éco-Nature, shared her passion with the audience by informing everyone about the wealth of diversity in the Mille-Îles River and its endangered species. It was then that it was mentioned that the Town of Rosemère, in partnership with Éco-Nature, recently acquired the last private Miller Marsh property in order to preserve the ecological value of this absolutely outstanding natural environment.
The emerald ash borer
The emerald ash borer is a species of metallic wood-boring beetle native to East Asia, including China and the Russian Far East. Most species of North American ash trees are very vulnerable to this beetle, which has killed millions of trees in Canada in forested and urban areas.
No North American natural predators, such as woodpeckers, other insects or parasites have been able to slow the spread of the emerald ash borer or keep trees from being killed by it. Mayor Westram informed us that the first signs of ash tree infestations happened in Rosemere 3 years ago. The sickness has reached its zenith now and the town is cutting down massive numbers of ash trees and replacing them with other species. For Rosemerites that already have ash trees in their properties, the city has a program to help them replace them.
Documentary and survey
In addition, throughout the weekend, the participants had the chance to discover the documentary film Earth: Seen from the Heart with Hubert Reeves—a documentary that takes a look at the Earth and the threats to its biodiversity, but above all provides insight into the interdependence of all living beings.
The town finally, invited the public to complete the Environment Forum appreciation survey. The survey is an important tool for the city to ascertain what topics of interest should be included in the 2021 program. From among the respondents to the survey, the Town will draw a rainwater barrel and two $50 gift certificates redeemable at Éco-Nature to discover the treasures of the Mille-Îles River.