MONTREAL – For the City of Montreal, Earth Day started with a photo op as officials planted trees in Maisonneuve Park.
They say they’re getting their hands dirty to plant 375,000 new trees in time for Montreal’s 375th anniversary in 2017.
However, environmental groups insist the city is developing housing projects, instead of natural spaces.
“They can redevelop brown spots, but not green spaces,” said Sierra Club member Gary Spiller.
“Not places like the Dorval Municipal Golf Course, where we want to preserve habitat and biodiversity.”
The city insists protection projects are underway and boasts a track record of conservation efforts, especially in the West Island.
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Montreal’s Urban Aggolmoration Council had pledged to set aside 10 per cent of its territory for green spaces.
Ménard said that, although they haven’t yet reached that goal, it’s something they’re working on.
“We have six per cent protection now and have a lot of acquisitions,” he said.
“We plan to get to 10 per cent and are very optimistic.”
That sentiment isn’t shared by Sierra Club.
“Unless they invent places, there’s not enough green space left on the island of Montreal for them to come up with 10 per cent,” said Sierra Club’s Don Hobus.