Green light for a biodiversity enhancement project in HEC Montréal
April 27, 2023
HEC Montréal has secured a $137,000 grant from the City of Montréal and the Government of Quebec for protecting and increasing the biodiversity of the ecosystems in the school’s natural outdoor spaces.
Since HEC Montréal is nestled in the Mount Royal heritage site, this project is being implemented within the broader framework of a program by the Quebec Ministry of Culture and Communications to preserve Mount Royal’s biodiversity.
Improved landscaping and maintenance
The recently signed agreement proposes various actions over the next 2 years, including the planting of new trees and shrubs, the protection of existing species and pollinators, as well as some landscaping to enhance the spaces.
In addition to countering biodiversity loss in general, the project will monitor invasive species, protect those that are vulnerable, and reduce trampling of the undergrowth, all while raising community and public awareness.
The targeted zones are located on the grounds of the Côte-Sainte-Catherine building, totalling nearly 10,000 m2. These include the deciduous forest (sugar maple-hickory stand) that surrounds the building, the forest garden, and the area bordering Côte-Sainte-Catherine Road.
Sugar maple-hickory stand
The main issues in this sector are soil compaction, a lack of diversity in plant strata, and wildlife habitats. Other problems include the inadequate diversity regarding trees and regeneration, as well as the absence of linear fences around paths and protected areas.
This transition zone between the urban landscape and the main forest serves as a living and learning environment for permaculture. Its composition requires enhancement and diversification to make more room for food-producing, local, and native species.
These sloping lawns overlooking Côte-Sainte-Catherine Road require a lot of maintenance — including mowing — for aesthetic reasons. They could easily be converted into meadows as a way to increase the site’s biodiversity and its capacity to retain rainwater.
Call for participation
The school wishes to call upon its entire community to take part in this project on a co-construction basis.
EThus, faculty members, staff members and students are all invited to participate in a codesign workshop that will take place on May 25, 2023, at the Côte-Sainte-Catherine building.
It will be an opportunity to learn about the project, exchange ideas and get involved in its implementation.
This activity reflects HEC Montréal’s determination to take exemplary actions in the management of its infrastructure. This objective corresponds to one of the 4 operational streams that make up the action plan for sustainable development (SD), corporate social responsibility (CSR) and ethics launched by the school last March.
*Project funded under the Montréal Cultural Development Agreement concluded between the City of Montréal and the Government of Quebec.