Residents’ association hosts virtual walk through Deschênes
The Deschênes Residents’ Association (ARD) didn’t let COVID stop them from hosting one of their annual walks through the neighbourhood last week, with a different twist because of the pandemic. As one of the ARD’s spring traditions of the last several years, the walks typically draw between 15 and 30 people to get together and learn about the neighbourhood’s natural and historical richness.
But this year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the walk was held virtually – inviting people via social media to participate by following a map posted on the ARD’s Facebook page. The ARD’s President Howard Powles emphasized the importance of not only experiencing the event through their computer screens, but to actually take it on physically.
Including 10 stops in different parts of the neighbourhood, the route includes the Pont Dupéré – a walking bridge overpassing the Marais du Canard Branchu – Parc Fortin and the La Véréndrye-Mckenzie Belvedere. The area boasts a wide variety of wildlife, notably many bird species, amphibians, as well as muskrat and beaver populations. It also features a number of rare tree species, including shagbark hickory trees. “It’s quite unique in Quebec as a species,” Powles said.
Powles explained that the ARD hosts three or four Jane’s walks per year – which take around an hour and a half – noting that this year’s events scheduled for June and July got cancelled because of the pandemic. He added that the purpose of the walks is raising people’s awareness about the value of what lives in their backyard and the history it holds. “It’s to get people to explore, visit and appreciate,” Powles said. “We need to know about our heritage and we need to know about our history and both are quite surprising in Deschênes … same with the nature. This area is known by naturalists as a very diverse, interesting area.”
Not planning any group events for the time being, Powles said the earliest would likely be in the fall.