By Tracey Arial
LaSalle’s social development roundtable organization will receive funding under the Quartier 21 project for the period from Jan. 1, 2014-Dec. 31, 2017.
“We are very proud to have been chosen by Quartier 21 and we have been working very hard to come up with a project that will put into place a favourable environment for health,” said Maude Vallée, a coordinator with the Table de développement social de LaSalle.
The project links the roundtable with LaSalle borough administrators, Carrefour Jeunesse-Emploi de LaSalle, École Cavelier-De LaSalle, Héritage Laurentien and Nutri-Centre LaSalle.
It will receive $130,000 over three years to increase the use of active transportation and encourage urban agriculture, particularly among impoverished and vulnerable groups in the borough.
The initial funding comes through the Quartier 21 project, which is jointly funded by the Public Health Agency of Quebec and the City of Montreal to encourage sustainable development. Its name comes from the implementation plan developed in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio. Projects in Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Rivière des Prairies-Pointe aux Trembles, Montréal Est and Plateau Mont Royal will also receive funding during the same period.
Project funding will occur in three phases: $30,000 for the first year and $50,000 for the two following years.
Vallée says that those amounts won’t be the only investment she expects from the LaSalle community. The group has already attracted additional funding from the borough of LaSalle, the Commission scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys, Québec en forme, SOVERDI and the Table d’action et de concertation en sécurité urbaine de LaSalle. They also hope to attract commercial funding from local business.
During the first phase, the group plans to promote walking and cycling in the borough by placing more bicycle stands in schools, on municipal grounds and next to popular commercial retailers. The urban agriculture portion of the project includes the planting of at least 30 trees per year plus the promotion of gardens and other agricultural projects at schools and in housing projects.
Phase two will identify necessary improvements to the infrastructure as well as developing informational posters next to popular tourist spots near cycling paths and sidewalks. They also plan to create a local map to identify important cycling and pedestrian landmarks.
They’re also planning to establish a community garden next to the Centre d’hébergement de LaSalle in conjunction with the Dorval-Lachine-LaSalle CSSS.
“In addition to providing healthy local food, that project will encourage intercultural and intergenerational exchange,” says Vallée.
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