Youth dig-in to protect and preserve Mont Royal

MONTREAL, Nov. 8, 2011 /CNW/ - As part of the HSBC - Evergreen Youth Action Series initiative, youth from across Montreal gathered on Mont Royal Saturday to engage in stewardship and restoration activities to preserve and protect the mountain.

In partnership with Les Amis de la Montagne, the event started with an engaging and interactive educational tour of the park followed with a hands-on activity where the youth removed invasive plant species (buckthorn) to protect species native to Mont Royal.

"Highlighting the natural elements in a community and then inviting youth to be part of the maintenance of these natural spaces is important for individual and community pride," explains Zanita Lukezich, Manager of National Programs for Evergreen. "The energy and enthusiasm from the youth is inspiring." she added.

"It's important to stay connected to nature especially in our cities," said Jacques Fleurant, Chief Financial Officer, Global Banking and Markets and Wealth Management, HSBC Bank Canada. "Our support to youth initiatives such as this one is an investment in Canadian youth and we are confident in an outstanding return for the environment."

Across Canada, over a thousand city children and youth who rarely get a chance to climb trees or feel the grass under their feet will be getting an opportunity to connect with nature. A donation of $400,000 over two years from HSBC Bank Canada, and an additional one-time donation of $200,000 from HSBC Holdings plc in the U.K., will support the HSBC Student Bursary Program at Evergreen Brick Works, Evergreen Common Grounds program and HSBC-Evergreen Youth Action Series.

In Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal, some 200-250 high-needs and at-risk youth will experience nature first-hand through workshops and plantings, learning everything from urban agriculture to water conservation through the HSBC-Evergreen Youth Action Series.

"Research and our experience shows that education through connecting with nature builds healthy and confident young minds," explained Geoff Cape, Executive Director of Evergreen.

About Evergreen
Evergreen is a national not-for-profit organization that makes cities more livable. By deepening the connection between people and nature, and empowering Canadians to take a hands-on approach to their urban environments, Evergreen is improving the health of our cities—now and for the future.

Evergreen is facilitating this event in partnership with Montreal-based Les Amis de la Montagne.

About Les amis de la montagne
Les amis de la montagne recruits mountain enthusiasts to the cause of protecting the mountain and the processes that sustain it; connects thousands of school children and other visitors to the mountain's historic, natural and cultural treasures each year; works to conserve the mountain's natural environment and promote its biodiversity through scientific research and community stewardship projects and; builds strong partnerships with individuals, corporations and foundations, in order to fulfill the protection goals of the organization. www.lemontroyal.qc.ca

About HSBC
HSBC Bank Canada, a subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc, is the leading international bank in Canada. With around 7,500 offices in over 80 countries and territories and assets of US$2,691 billion at 30 June 2011, the HSBC Group is one of the world's largest banking and financial services organizations.

SOURCE Evergreen

For further information:

Anthony Westenberg
Evergreen Communications
416-596-1495 x332
awestenberg@evergreen.ca

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