New Aylmer organization
Deschênes Park Alliance set goals for the next few years
Deschênes Park Alliance (DPA) is a non-profit organization that was officially established on December 4, 2020. The DPAs mandate is to protect the natural forests and waterfront between the Deschênes Rapids and Fraser Road. Their objectives include enhancing and preserving the natural and cultural heritage of the areas, promoting education activities, and working with collaborators to make a significant impact.
The organization's current and planned areas of activities fall under five categories. The first is seeking recognition for the value of the area and commitment to protect Deschênes Park from the city and other stakeholders. DPA is currently working to develop a document that outlines the existing biodiversity, geology and archeology of the park based on the assessment of experts.
Community education is another priority for DPA, this involves creating education material such as pamphlets, signs, and fact sheets and creating activities to engage the community and families in the area. The organization is also open to collaborating with neighbouring schools.
The third category of activity is the protection of the environment. The DPA plans to create a protection and development plan based on the knowledge they gather from the experts that evaluate the area as well as considering the interest of the community. Protection also includes exploring the possibility of expanding their protection and development mandate to the Ottawa River-Boucher Forest Greenway. They commit to continue to set up clean-up activities for the Parc Deschênes to remove waste and garbage from the forest.
The fourth category of activity is environmentally responsible development such as marking official trails to limit traffic in the forest to protect biodiversity, installing information and awareness signs, and installing bike racks and garbage bins. The DPA also hopes to mark the green corridor that stretches from Deschênes Park to the Boucher Forest as well as setting up a lookout area to allow for observation of the Lamoureux Marsh.
Networking and community engagement is the final category for the various activities that the DPA plans for in the upcoming years. Their priority is to recruit expertise to establish a Board of Directors, and an advisory committee of experts. The DPA also plans to engage with the City of Gatineau, residents’ associations, as well as other environmental organizations such as Conseil régional de l'environnement et du développement durable de l'Outaouais, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, and Nature Conservancy of Canada.
With the help of the $2,000 dollar grant from TD-Park People Foundation, last summer the DPA organized three cleanup activities in the forest with 21 volunteers. For the first clean-up they managed to dispose of a dozen large garbage bags and many large items such as tires and carpets. They also organized a treasure hunt for families in the area. There were 28 participants and 8 families and individuals who won prizes in the treasure hunt.