By Allison Flynn
It’s not always easy being green, but the occasional pat on the back certainly helps.
Earlier this afternoon, City of Montreal leaders celebrated the University’s ambitious Greening McGill project at the 5th annual Gala de reconnaissance en environnement et développement durable de Montréal. McGill’s comprehensive plan looks to improve the natural environment on campus by increasing green space, decreasing paved areas, minimizing car traffic while improving the quality of life in the neighborhood surrounding the University.
“McGill is delighted and honoured to be recognized for this exciting project, which is testimony to our university’s and the City of Montreal’s shared vision of a greener, more pedestrian-friendly city core. It is thanks to the collaborative efforts of the City, our neighbours and the diverse members of the McGill community that we have been able to realize this vision,” said Jim Nicell, Associate Vice-Principal (University Services).
“The project continues to be a work in progress, with a lot more to come. The Green McGill Committee continues to brainstorm and has many exciting ideas for the upcoming summer. We invite you to take a walk on McTavish Street and McGill’s lower campus to see for yourself what we are doing.”
The Greening McGill project, led in collaboration with the City of Montreal, included:
* The creation of pedestrian-friendly spaces on lower campus, as well as the transformation of McTavish St., between Sherbrooke St. and Dr. Penfield Ave., into a car-free green zone, lined with flowering planters, benches and bike racks.
* The elimination of parking and all but essential motorized vehicle access on lower campus by closing of upper McTavish St. and the Roddick Gates to traffic.
* Newly landscaped squares created as welcoming green space for the community.
* The creation of a bicycle path along University St.
* Increasing the number of bike racks on campus to encourage bike travel.
Established in 2007, the Gala is organized each year by the Conseil régional de l’environnement de Montréal in collaboration with the Conférence régionale des élus de Montréal and the Ville de Montréal, for partners of the Montréal Community Sustainable Development Plan. It honours the achievements of Montréal’s businesses, institutions and non-profit organizations that have carried out innovative sustainable development projects.
McGill’s Edible Campus, along with its partners Alternatives and Santropol Roulant, were honoured at last year’s Gala for their collective campus garden project.
For more information about Greening McGill: www.mcgill.ca/masterplan/lowercampus/
For more information about the gala: www.cremtl.qc.ca/gala/index.php?page=laureats2011