Breaking Ground – Quebec’s Green Fund at Work

Breaking Ground – Quebec’s Green Fund at Work

Article and photo by Sarah Williams

In 2006 the government of Quebec approved a financial program for the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, which was given the title, Fonds vert. The Minister distributes the money budgeted for the Green Fund to various municipalities, businesses, and non-profit organizations who have projects aimed at improving the environment, or with a sustainable development focus.  

What sort of projects, you ask? This summer, La Butte à Moineaux , a CPE daycare located in the downtown neighbourhood of St-Sauveur, was awarded money from the Green Fund for the renovation of its outdoor play area. The project fit the necessary criteria since the main purpose behind the improvements would be to combat the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect. In cities, the substantial presence of heat-absorbing asphalt and concrete, and lack of nature, results in warmer temperatures than the surrounding countryside. Some of the effects that a UHI has on the environment: increased need for electricity (for air conditioning), and poorer air quality as the heat increases the production of pollutants such as ozone. Urban Heat Islands also affect the weather of the outlying areas; rainfall is usually greater downwind from the city.

Breaking ground at CPE (l to r): Isabelle Dermers, parent, Marjolaine Rondeau, parent and Mélanie Beaudoin, (Green Fund). Yohann Poitras, David Dupont, president of CPE administration council, Paul-Yvon Blanchette, contractor, Madame Geneviève Mainguy, architect (TERGOS).

The back yard of La Butte à Moineaux was a particularly hot area, with very little natural shade, making it a bit problematic for the children’s outdoor playtime in the summer.  The plan is to put in place some artificial shade, and a splash pad.  Construction is in progress now, and should be finished sometime this fall.

The project is made possible with the help of the Green Fund, as well as private donations from the Fondation Maurice Tanguay, Caisse Desjardins d’économie solidaire, Tergos and the Société Immobilière de l’université du Québec. Tergos is a “green” architecture and construction firm based here in Quebec City, so this project is right up their alley. The design of the architect from Tergos, Geneviève Mainguy (a former parent of the CPE), will conform to environmentally-friendly values. 

The name given to the project is “Urban Oasis”.

Congratulations to La Butte à Moineaux!

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About the author:

SARAH WILLIAMS is a mother of three young children, and a freelance writer.

Sarah had her first experience living in Quebec while earning her bachelor’s degree in Communications at Concordia University (MTL) in the late nineties.

Hailing from Cobourg, Ontario, Sarah moved to Quebec City in January of the year 2000. For her, this city is the perfect balance of the small town feel of her hometown in Ontario and the vibrant francophone culture of Montreal.

Professionally, Sarah has worked a fair bit in the media as a copywriter and researcher; for Global Television, and for a T.V. cooking show (what’s cooking).

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