SOVERDI and SAQ employees join forces in tangible effort to make the
district "green" and enhance security around the bridge area
MONTREAL, Oct. 16 /CNW Telbec/ - The non-profit organization SOVERDI (la Société de verdissement du Montréal métropolitain) and employees of the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) teamed up today to begin planting the seeds for the revitalizing and greening of the areas underneath and along the Jacques-Cartier Bridge.
Conducted as part of SAQ employees' volunteer involvement day, the planting of some 88 trees and 200 shrubs, estimated at about $208,000, will help promote biodiversity underneath and along the Jacques-Cartier Bridge, thereby creating a more pleasant and safer environment for people living in this part of the city. The planting of white ash trees, silver maples, Kentucky coffee trees, hackberries, pin oaks, ulms and black pines will help to more clearly define the parking zones and enhance the image of this main entry point to the city of Montreal.
The greening plan, which is being made possible through the collaboration of the corporation that administrates the Jacques-Cartier and Champlain Bridge, is the result of two years of efforts initiated by SOVERDI to find a financial partner that is also a neighbour of the bridge.
"For several years, citizens and community groups have been demanding that something be done to spruce up the area under the bridge, to enhance the image of the neighbourhood and provide a greater sense of security for people that circulate under the bridge, either on foot or on their bikes," stated SOVERDI president Pierre Ouellet. "Our first goal was to find an institution in the neighbourhood that would be willing to invest and participate in revitalizing the area. We are delighted the SAQ responded favourably to our project, and we sincerely hope other businesses neighbouring the Jacques-Cartier Bridge will join the movement to finish the final phase of the project."
The SAQ's decision to invest in the project is coherent with the sustainable development plan the company implemented about a year ago. The plan includes environment protection measures and a commitment to the community by the SAQ.
"The SAQ is pleased to partner with SOVERDI to help in the renewal efforts for this historic district of the city of Montreal," remarked Philippe Duval, president and CEO of the SAQ. "Considering our involvement in the various communities and the condition of the premises that are located not far from our offices, the SAQ seemed like a natural partner for the greening activity being conducted under the Jacques-Cartier Bridge. We hope it is just the first of many initiatives aimed at restoring the sector, and in particular, providing its citizens with an attractive setting in which to live."
Since the premises being refurbished belong to the corporation that manages the Jacques-Cartier and Champlain Bridges, the greening plan and the selection of trees and shrubs was done in consideration of ensuring easy access to the site at all times for repairs and inspections of the bridge.
"Today's planting is the natural follow-up to the work that has been done in this district to not only enhance its image but also heighten the feeling of security for people that go by this area every day," noted Jean Perron, president of the Local Restoration Committee. "Let us hope that other companies and institutions in the neighbourhood make a similar commitment like the SAQ has done, so there can be a continuation of the revitalizing and greening of this area under the bridge, which is a well-known Montreal landmark".
In 2002, the Sommet de Montréal identified the renovating and rehabilitating of entry points to the city as an important issue for urban renewal and the image of the city of Montreal. A number of initiatives have been done in the neighbourhood in recent years to enhance and revitalize its image. The city has expropriated several properties between the bridge exit and Ontario Street and it also moved its municipal garage that was located in the area just beyond the exit of the bridge. Subsequently, a huge park has been set up in this area.
Currently, two projects have been completed along De Lorimier Avenue South: the places that have been built to commemorate the builders of the bridge and the park for skateboard enthusiasts. The "green" renovation underneath the bridge is a project that complements the solid revitalization efforts made in this district and the busy entry points to the city.
The Société de verdissement du Montréal métropolitain (SOVERDI), a not-for-profit organization created in 1992 as part of the Canadian government's Green Plan, mobilizes companies, communities, institutions and the scientific community to take appropriate green initiatives in which water, air and soil are considered. Its activities are aimed at every sector of Montreal and fall within the scope of rejuvenating, maintaining and developing the urban forest. www.soverdi.org
About the SAQ
The mission of the Société des alcools du Québec is to provide good service to Quebecers in every region by offering a broad range of quality alcool products. Beyond its business mandate, the SAQ fully assumes its role as a responsible corporate citizen.
Promoting moderation, protecting the environment, supporting community action, presenting events and festivals, entering into partnerships to support the major challenges facing Quebec society in the areas of health care, education and culture: this is how the SAQ expresses its societal values.
About the Jacques-Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated
The Jacques-Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Federal Bridge Corporation Limited, a Crown Corporation under the jurisdiction of Transport Canada. It is responsible for the Jacques-Cartier Bridge, Champlain Bridge, Bonaventure Autoroute, the federally owned portion of the Honoré-Mercier Bridge, the Melocheville Tunnel and the Champlain Bridge Ice Control Structure in striving to provide safe and efficient passage to the users of these facilities.
For further information: For further information: Diane Jeannotte Communications: Patricia Archambault, (514) 710-1044; Diane Jeannotte, (514) 772-8019