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Forest mapping workshops coming to the MoP

Connor Lalande
Pontiac Oct. 5, 2023
A series of community forest mapping workshops is coming to the Municipality of Pontiac in November.
Billed as a “joint scientific research and community art initiative”, the workshops were designed to present the findings of an Eco Echo led research project on the state of forests in the MRC des Collines-de-l’Outaouais and to engage with residents on the findings in a “collective artistic experience.”
Éco Écho is an environmental education center based in Wakefield whose stated mission is to inform and engage communities on the importance of “green infrastructure” like forested lands and to preserve natural, historical and cultural heritage in the Outaouais region.
General Manager of Éco Écho Shelly Crabtree says that the workshops are the culmination of a research project funded by the Quebec Government, the MRC des Collines-de-l’Outaouais and various other donors.
“Éco Écho led a research project in July and August conducted by a consultant. The preliminary work done was to examine the state and evolution of forests in the MRC des Collines and each municipality that is part of the MRC,” said Crabtree
“As a result, the purpose of the workshop is to present some of these results on the state of the forest to participants and invite them to reflect and interact on the information through a collective artistic experience,” she said.
Workshops will be led by artist “cj fleury” who, according to her online biography, has significant prior experience organizing community social change and advocacy projects.
According to Crabtree, “fleury” will guide those in attendance through a leaf tracing exercise on long strips of special paper.
Participants will be “able to share their experiences of interactions with the forest and based on the information they received, share what they want to see in the future for sustainable management of their respective forests in each municipality,” she said.
“All works made in each workshop will be assembled by the artist and turned into one large piece of art that will be showcased in each municipality in 2024 to further engage citizens in science and the art of the evolution and future of forests.”
“I’m honoured to lead the creative vision of this innovative and inclusive project, and to support an interest in data, maps and forest history. Our hands-on workshops are designed for success, offering a range of tips and tools to guide the artistic process. Bring your open-mindedness and curiosity about collective artistic creation, for an interactive studio session that will invite us all to marvel at our community forests,” said “fleury” of the workshops.
“With over 500 volunteers and participants in its programs and workshops, Éco Écho is a pillar of sustainable land management in our region. The MRC des Collines is proud to support a project that combines scientific research of our forests and community community art in which the citizens of our six municipalities can participate,” wrote Prefect of the MRC des Collines-de-l’Outaouai Marc Carrière in a press release announcing the workshops.
“Éco Écho is honoured to join forces with the MRC and the Municipality of La Pêche to learn more about the history of the forests that enrich our lives. The research will enable us to deepen our appreciation of this resource and support efforts to improve the health and sustainability of these precious natural spaces. In keeping with our mission, the community is invited to participate in the creative process to strengthen and share each other’s perspectives,” wrote Eco Echo President Eric Corneau in the same release.
Two workshops will be held in each municipality within the MRC des Collines, with the Municipality of Pontiac hosting one in Quyon and another in Luskville on November 25. There are 15 spots available in each workshop, with slots open to those aged 12 and up.
More information on the workshops and how to register can be found on the Éco Écho website.

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