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Petite Rivière applies the principles of sustainable development

Petite Rivière, in line with the City of Montreal’s conservation policy

The Petite Rivière site could play an important role in migratory patterns and the regeneration of ecosystems on the Island of Montreal. In its development approach, Groupe Pacific plans to re-establish and revitalize the natural riches of the site, large tracts of land, mature trees and watercourses that will serve as sanctuaries for long-distance migratory birds. Numerous pollinators may also rediscover this area as a habitat, once lost in the shrinking of habitat that has occurred over the last decades. Petite Rivière is completely in line with the conservation policy adopted by the City of Montreal.

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  Proposed project plan: acreage and levels of biodiversity
 

As most of the richly biodiversified forest habitats on the Island of Montreal are on private property, it is imperative that development models be created that support both residential construction and the enhancement of natural habitat. But the success of this new way of doing things at the Petite Rivière project depends upon an all-important collaboration between the private and public sectors to preserve and grow richly biodiversified areas.

Plan to restore plant life

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  Steps to restore plant life
 

Our team of biologists and botanists have evaluated the effects of time on the site and have come up with an appealing redevelopment approach for the Petite Rivière site.

The post-colonial use of the land had a huge effect on the composition, distribution and variety of vegetation. The deforestation of the rich earth for agricultural use, followed by an artificial landscape - comprised essentially of grasses - that was created by the golf course 80 years ago, reduced the biological diversity and the potential to maintain healthy natural habitats. A great white oak with a 1.3 meter diameter trunk stands as witness to the magnificent forests that once covered the Island of Montreal.

In general, the site today is characterized by rows of mature trees standing alone or in groves. The stands of silver maples separated by glades give the site a pastoral charm. There are, however, many trees with stripped roots, thin crowns and other possible structural deficiencies. Dozens of trees with these symptoms fall victim to sickness and rough winter conditions and must be cut or pruned to protect the health and safety of walkers. An action plan will be put in place to improve the health of the trees and the site.

Demystifying the ecosystem of a golf course

Beneath the lush green appearance of golf courses are natural systems enduring numerous pressures. Turf grass creates a dormant soil that works for playing golf but not for maintaining flourishing ecosystems. Due to wetland vegetation having been reduced to a minimum and the absence of herbaceous layers caused by mowing, today there is very little food, refuges or appealing nesting places for wildlife.

The extensive flatlands that slope towards the watercourses promote quick surface runoff and trees do not regenerate because their understory - the area beneath them - is kept bare. The revitalization of the site could transform this dormant landscape into a flourishing natural habitat.

The heavily maintained areas covered in turf grass offer very little in the way of food, refuge or appealing nesting places. In addition, the disturbances created by human activities at all hours of the day and by the early-morning maintenance activities make the situation worse. Despite these circumstances, more naturalized narrow strips of land that are located on the circumference of the site, most of all in the wooded pockets of the Côte Saint-Luc part, enable various animal species to flourish.

 
Photo site : Existing conditions
 

 


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