ScarletCoral Posted July 11, 2019 Share Posted July 11, 2019 Montréal fait un projet pilote de verdissement dans Cartierville, en excluant le gazon qui demande beaucoup de ressources en entretien https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/pilot-project-replaces-mowed-lawn-with-natural-ground-cover Green pilot project in Cartierville ‘an urban laboratory’ “We want to reduce maintenance. We want to combat heat islands. We want to encourage biodiversity,” says a leader of the project in Montreal's north-end neighbourhood, which focuses on natural ground cover rather than flowers and grass. MARIAN SCOTT, MONTREAL GAZETTE Updated: July 11, 2019 A site near the intersection of Laurentien and Gouin Blvds. will feature plants like clover that naturally fertilize the soil and conserve water — thereby reducing the cost of maintenance — rather than the standard neatly mowed grass of most municipal plots. PIERRE OBENDRAUF / MONTREAL GAZETTE It’s 30 degrees in the shade on Laurentien Blvd. in Cartierville, and Élise Beauregard is busy tucking green seedlings into a planting bed set into the sidewalk. Unlike most municipal plots, this one doesn’t feature stiff rows of geraniums, or frilly petunias, or that standby of green spaces everywhere, neatly mowed grass. Instead, Beauregard, a landscape architect and president of the Laboratoire d’intégration de l’écologie urbaine (LIEU), is using plants like clover that will naturally fertilize the soil and conserve water. Long seen as a weed that should be eliminated from lawns, clover adds nitrogen to the soil and resists drought. “We want to reduce maintenance. We want to combat heat islands. We want to encourage biodiversity,” said Beauregard, whose organization is in charge of a $300,000 pilot project to naturalize municipal landscaping on the site. Over the next two years, the non-profit organization will measure the impact of naturalizing 875 square metres of planting beds on the site near the intersection of Laurentien and Gouin Blvds. It will analyze soil quality, temperature, water use and upkeep, and compare those results with the city’s traditional gardening methods. “This is really an urban laboratory,” said Philippe Sabourin, a spokesperson for the city of Montreal. “If it works, we will be able to deploy that kind of technique around the city and lower the cost of maintenance.” Cities have long relied on colourful annuals and swaths of green grass in their landscaping. But that must change as they increasingly cope with intense heat waves and freak weather events, Sabourin said. “Grass requires a lot of maintenance,” he said. “Every time there’s a heat wave, you have to water it. And it doesn’t reduce heat islands.” The project also calls for the planting of 127 trees, at an additional cost to the Ahuntsic-Cartierville borough of $150,000. In the past, the survival rate of city trees was very low, mainly because the beds where they were planted were too small and had poor soil. In this project, trees will have more room to spread their roots, and the soil mixture will combat contaminants in the urban environment, Sabourin said. The city chose the site in the north-end borough because it was already slated for a $22-million sewer, water main and repaving project. Instead of rebuilding that part of Laurentien Blvd. as it was, with six lanes, the city eliminated three lanes and widened the sidewalk to accommodate a café-terrasse, planting beds and benches where local residents, including the large number of seniors who live nearby, can sit and chat. The changes will turn what used to be a drab, unfriendly speedway into a neighbourhood hub, Sabourin said. “In 2016, it was nothing but concrete and asphalt,” he said. “Now we’re creating zones where people can socialize.” Beauregard said her team has been getting positive feedback from local residents. “They’re happy about it,” she said. “I think people like to see we’re paying some attention to their living environment.” The team is using some 60 different plants, including a ground cover mixture developed by Sylvie Bélair, a horticultural technician at the Ahuntsic-Cartierville borough. “We have to think about the aesthetic aspect,” said Beauregard. While the goal is to use plants that will thrive naturally without much care and watering, the plantings should also be pleasing to the eye and have a relaxing effect, she added. In 2017, Pointe-Claire amended a bylaw that had required residents to limit lawns to 20 centimetres (eight inches) in height. It also recognized the importance of naturalized gardens in combatting climate change, conserving water and attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies. The amendment was a victory for resident Peter Graham, who had sought to save his wild-growth front garden after being served with a ticket for violating the bylaw in 2016. A mowed lawn is “a demonstration of insanity if you really think about it,” Graham said in an interview. It impoverishes the soil and requires a large amount of labour, water and fertilizers to maintain, he noted. “Western culture has this drive to demonstrate that we are masters of nature,” said Graham, who recently earned a PhD from Queen’s University’s School of Environmental Studies. “It’s ironic, because you become a slave to the mowed lawn,” he said. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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