Boucher Forest Foundation holds largest fundraiser to date
Many groups of friends and families came out from across the city on Saturday June 18 to participate in the Big Walk for the Boucher Forest (La Grande marche pour le parc de la Forêt-Boucher) organized by the Boucher Forest Foundation. Saturday’s walk was the latest in a series of events that are part of the “All for the Parc de la Forêt Boucher” fundraising campaign, and is the foundation’s largest campaign to date. The campaign raises funds for efforts and activities to protect theBoucher Forest and to have it formally established as an urban park. Launched on March 9 of this year, the goal of this most recent campaign is to raise $1.75 million and reached $ 1,477,334 after last Saturday’s walk.
Hikers who signed up for the walk had the option to walk either a 2 kilometer or 5 kilometer circuit through the forest. The walk started with an introduction from the campaign organizers in Parc des Jardins Lavigne. Participants divided into two groups to walk the trails before coming together again for a final picnic and celebration at the end.
Sahadia Pierre-Louis, whose family has deep roots in the area, participated in the walk with her husband and daughter. She noted how the area around Boucher Forest has changed a lot since her and husband’s parents first moved to Aylmer from Haiti in the 1970’s, “Back then there was a lot of green space and now there is a lot of change and new developments, so we came on the walk to help preserve that space.” She further explained that one of the main reasons they had for participating was to instill a love of nature in their daughter, “We find it important to connect with nature and we want to preserve that connection. We brought our daughter here with us today to instill that in her.”
The Boucher Forest Foundation’s Strategic Advisor, Ariann Bouchard, explained that the foundation often organizes walks like this for people who would like to visit and learn about the forest with others. She explained that anyone who has not yet walked in the forest should get in touch with the foundation by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 819 918 0595. Bouchard also mentioned that anyone can feel free to donate to the campaign as an individual or even organize their own fundraiser, “Anyone can donate at any time, the donations do not have to be large. Even 2 dollars is significant. And anyone can get together with friends and start their own fundraising event.” The Boucher Forest Foundation began as a community initiative and efforts to protect the forest have relied on individual donations and the support of local businesses, “It’s everyone’s forest and everyone’s park. We want people to take ownership over it, the more people who have who contribute the better we can protect it,” said Bouchard.
To visit the Boucher Forest, go to one of its entrances at Parc des Jardins Lavigne or off of Rue Samuel Eddy near the corner of des Allumettières. In March of this year the Boucher Forest foundation collaborated with the La Société de transport de l'Outaouais (STO) to create two new bus stops in order to make the park more accessible by public transportation one near the Samuel Eddy entrance and another on rue Antoine Boucher.
For more information about Boucher Forest as well as to donate to the “All for the Parc de la Forêt Boucher” campaign online visit the Boucher Forest Foundation’s website at: www.fondationforetboucher.ca/home
Caption: Supporters celebrating raising at total of $ 1,477,334, 84% of the campaign’s goal of $1,750,000. Cheque for $1,590 donated by Brigil Construction. Photo credit: Greg Newing