The Canopée Collective and its partners work to “bring young people closer to nature”

For a second year, the Canopée Collective is collaborating with other organizations to green the city, reduce heat islands and in several cases, bring young people closer to nature, get children to put both hands in the earth to beautify their schoolyard, improve a living environment for the benefit of the entire community.

For example, the Canopée Collective, the Regional Environmental Council – National Capital Region and the Forestry Association of the Two Shores continued, Friday morning, their joint greening efforts in the immense concrete courtyard of the Externat Saint -Coeur de Marie, a private primary school in Beauport. Fifth and sixth grade students, members of a committee dedicated to community engagement and sustainable development, participated in planting shrubs. These plants will be integrated into other future developments, including a green roof, to allow children to play in the shade, as well as an outdoor classroom for studying in the fresh air.

“It’s the continuation of a project that we started last year and all of this is made possible by the financial support of the city,” explains the CEO of Collectif Canopée, Sergio Paolo Solano.

Other projects of this type are held in different school environments in Quebec. “It’s the children who benefit the most. Worse it will really help them in terms of physical and mental health,” says Mr. Paolo Solano.
Photo credit: Thomas Verret

Education & awareness component

In addition to bringing nature back into communities, these initiatives allow schoolchildren to learn concepts related to natural sciences. By getting involved concretely, young people become aware of the importance of paying attention to the environment.

“They become a bit like leaders in the schoolyard, telling other students to pay attention to the trees, so that they stay there for a long time. We create a snowball effect,” explains the director of Collectif Canopée.

A variety of species are planted in schoolyards to improve the resilience of trees to disease. “Then, it’s beautiful to see the students’ involvement and of the community”, underlines Julie Molard, general director of the Association Forestier des Deux Rives, a non-profit organization, whose mission is to raise awareness among the population of the importance of trees and forests.
Photo credit: Thomas Verret

These projects therefore contribute to mobilizing youth around the three pillars of sustainable development: the social aspect, the environment and the economic dimension.

“We are mobilizing people in the community to plant more trees with us, to do more, but also for them to take care of them. I think that in Quebec, there is work to be done so that nature and trees become sacred,” believes Sergio Paolo Solano.

“Planting a tree at home is an investment,” he adds. It increases property values. »

Call for mobilization

Last year, the Canopée Collective planted 2,297 trees, in Quebec alone, targets that the NPO wishes to reproduce this year.

The City of Quebec, for its part, still pays 80% of the costs of planting a tree, but has increased its support to the amount of $685,000 for 2024, financial assistance coming in part from the government of Quebec, in framework of the 2030 Green Economy Plan, in order to accelerate the local climate transition.

To achieve its objectives, the organization needs the support of its partners and the community.

“We are actively looking for collaborations. (…) In the central districts, there is a lot of asphalt, not many spaces, it is very tight. We really need people who want to welcome these trees and come work with us so that we can do more,” says the general director of Collectif Canopée.

“In central districts, there are also specific needs, particularly in terms of air quality (…) So, we need a lot of greening, fek we appeal to everyone to join the movement,” concluded Sergio Paolo Solano.

What they also said

“We really want to mobilize the school community, including students, teachers and management, to participate in this improvement of greening in schoolyards, to bring nature back into learning too. »
-Sarah Verret, greening and green infrastructure coordinator at the Regional Environment Council – National Capital Region.

“We are very happy. It’s really a great project that we’ve wanted for a long time. (…) We teach values, but here, we wanted to live them, these values ​​of sharing, of commitment, of taking care of nature, the environment, our neighborhood. »
-Evelyne Gosselin, general director of Externat Saint-Coeur de Marie.

“We sow seeds and we hope that the students share them with their friends, worse that later, children use all this knowledge, when they grow up, to change things. »
-Geneviève Côté, community engagement and sustainable development coordinator at Externat Saint-Coeur de Marie

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