City of Laval marked Earth Day on April 22

This was the 50th anniversary of environmental celebration

(TLN) Officials with the City of Laval took the opportunity on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day this year (April 22) to note the various efforts by the city in the past few years to promote environmental sustainability while increasing its commitment to ecological values.

“Whether it’s through the protection of our natural areas, the fight against climate change, planting of trees or the implementation of new environmental programs, Laval is proud to put the environment at the heart of its priorities, its actions and its strategic vision,” said Laval executive-committee member and city councillor for Sainte-Rose Virginie Dufour, who is responsible for environmental dossiers.

Escalating eco-efforts

She pointed out that since 2011, Laval has managed to increase the tree canopy hanging over its territory to 23.6 per cent. She said the city plans to increase its shrub and tree planting efforts, including many more trees along the edges of the autoroutes.

As well, she noted, the city is escalating efforts to reduce asphalted surfaces throughout Laval in order to help eliminate heat islands which capture and retain large volumes of heat during the hot summer months. Several schools and health institutions in Laval will be benefiting from these efforts through the planting of new trees on their grounds and greening over of paved outdoor spaces.

Kitchen waste expansion

As well, according to Dufour, the City of Laval plans to step up efforts to increase the amount of recyclable organic matter which ends up being repurposed, rather than in landfill. To achieve this aim, the city’s kitchen waste collection will be expanded to residential buildings with eight or more units beginning this fall.

Laval is also a new member of an organization, sponsored by the David Suzuki Foundation, that brings together municipalities which hope to save monarch butterflies from extinction. One of the causes for the decline of the monarch in North America has been the disappearance of a certain plant it would normally feed on. Laval, in step with other municipalities, plans to cultivate this plant in public spaces where it is hoped monarch butterflies will begin to flourish once again.

Electric-heat conversion

The City of Laval is also encouraging home owners on its territory to take advantage of a subsidy being offered by the municipality to convert oil-fired heating systems to electricity. In so doing, residents will to reduce carbon emissions in the atmosphere, which are believed to be a leading cause of global warming. And in its pursuit of eco-responsibility, the city has also been encouraging Laval residents to use active transportation more often, including bicycling or even just walking to destinations rather than driving the car. Laval has developed an extensive network of bicycling and walking paths throughout its territory, with plans for more in the coming years.

Martin C. Barry, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter for the Laval News,