L’Escouade verte de Verdun
I spent a great morning with the Green environmental unit of Verdun better known as the « Escouade Verte ». The team of participants were in a great mood and the sun was shinning bright with a fresh wind breezing by while we learned some gardening basics.
The plan of the day was as follows: We were split into two teams, each participants was wearing comfortable clothes and good sandals or shoes and armed with a watering can! We filled up our buckets from the water hose of a citizen who was watering plants in the alley behind. We were given small shovels, some straw and many plants… The only think I forgot was a water bottle!
I learned that the perennial plants were a donation from the horticultural society of Nuns Island and from the Douglas Institute’s glass house.
The « Escouade Verte » privilèges perennial and indigenous plants such as milkweed which is a nutrition source for monarch butterflies, which acts towards helping biodiversity. The Douglas Institute also gave annual plants to rapidly flourish flowerbeds for all summer!
I also learned that the municipality disposes of budgets to start these types of projects and to maintain them. None the less, it does not have long term budgets allocated.
That’s where the volunteer initiatives such as the « Escouade Verte » took the lead by mobilizing the community while offering a fun collective activity.
It this situation for example, the municipality gave authorizations, earth and mulch.
Sidewalks save lives by forcing drivers to reduce their speed, by giving a better visibility to pedestrians and by reducing the road crossing distance. Of course we could have speed bumps, but adding plants on the corners of sidewalks not only makes the municipality look nicer but helps in reducing heat island affects.
This initiative deserves to be encourages and maintained. The best way to do so is to be part of the volunteers for the time of a planting day. Human efforts are always welcome. Other options could also be to give plants.
You can get more information on future events by consulting the « Escouade Verte » publications in the Events tab.
Here are some pictures of the event!