The City of Montréal’s Environmental Program (Éco-quartier) was created in 1995, during Pierre Bourque’s term in office. Originally, each of the city’s 51 electoral district had its own office with separate staff, offices and projects. Each was administered by various locally established groups. Éco-quartier’s mandate is to promote eco-civism and environmental education, encouraging citizens to participate actively to improve Montrealers’ quality of life.
The four themes within the mandate include:
- Cleanliness: Neighbourhood Clean ups, sensitization to littering, dog waste
- 3RV: (Reduce, reuse, recycle) and repurpose. This includes working with citizens, merchants and groups to implement curbside recycling, food waste composting, community composting, and projects that repurpose household items
- Beautification: Annual flower give-away, perennial exchanges, seed giveaways;
- “Nature in the City”: Promoting green spaces, trees, biodiversity and green alleys.
And much much more!
From 1995-2002 Prevention CDN-NDG partnered up with the local Eco-quartier offices on various projects such as clean up activities in NDG, setting up kiosks during various festivals and very closely with Eco-quartier Darlington, during the project to help revitalize the North East area of Cote-des-Neiges, namely Barclay, Goyer and Bedford residents association.
When the City of Montreal went through their merge in 2002, the City also began discussions with the Eco-quartiers to merge as well. Power shifted from Centre City to the Boroughs so decisions were made locally. Eco-quartier Darlington staff were told that they going to be joining the Eco-quartier CDN, so the staff services would no longer be needed. While at the same time, there was no program in the Loyola district due to some mismanagement as well as not having a credible group come forward to manage the program.
During the spring of 2002, Prevention CDN-NDG was approached by some city employees inviting us to apply for the running of the Eco-quartier Loyola. It was a relatively small project with 2 employees to cover the district, as well as small budget so there would be a minimum amount of extra work to do. Because no one else was applying, the Board of Prevention NDG realised that even though there were completely different subjects, the ways to reach citizens were similar: Workshops, kiosks, and door to door visits. Because of our wonderful partners, and citizens in Loyola, we applied, knowing that we would invite two members the staff of Eco-quartier Darlington to join the Prevention CDN-NDG. On July 1, 2002, we became the proud administrators of the Eco-quartier Loyola and opened our little office in the northwest corner of NDG, on Patricia street. We realized a host of activities during that time. Since then, over the past 15 years, we’ve grown and evolved. In October 2008, the CDN-NDG borough decided that there should be only 1 Éco-quartier for the 2 districts (1 in CDN and 1 in NDG), and thus Prevention CDN-NDG absorbed the Éco-quartier Décarie/Loyola to form Eco-quartier NDG. We now have a top-notch staff, headed by Nikki Schiebel. So what originally a bit of a gamble became an important part of the Prev Family.