A precious green space in the midst of the city, the Parc Marcel-Laurin woodland is located at the edge of the park bearing its name.
Covering an area of 15,44 ha, this natural oasis offers city-dwellers the opportunity to enjoy an outstanding collection of vegetation, flora and fauna at the very edge of Saint-Laurent’s residential and industrial sectors. In addition, the woodland offers 2,1 km of walking trails (including the one leading to Bassin de la Brunante). The total area of the woodland including the Parc Marcel-Laurin is 37,4 ha.
Thanks to the collaboration of Éco-quartier de Saint-Laurent and the Comité écologique du Grand Montréal, the woodland is continually being enhanced as a result of various environmental initiatives, further adding to the site’s many attractions.
A bird-watcher’s delight
Thanks to the variety of birds, the Parc Marcel-Laurin woodland and the Bassin de la Brunante are ideal sites for amateur ornithologists.
Amateur ornithologists are also invited to enter their sightings in the ÉPOQ database. Managed by Regroupement Québec Oiseaux, this database contains information culled from daily birding logs compiled since 1975.
Apart from the many bird species, the woodland is also home to the eastern cottontail (rabbit), the American toad, the grey squirrel, the woodchuck, and the red fox. The woodland is also home to the American toad and the common garter snake.
The woodland holds a certificate from the University of Kansas’ Monarch Waystation Program, and in 2009 it received significant support numerous partners for the planting of native grasses and milkweed necessary for the Monarch butterfly’s feeding and reproductive needs.
Owing to its diverse forest vegetation and wetlands, the woodland is noted for its abundant biodiversity. In addition to its animal life, the woodland hosts 176 plant species, including 29 tree species, 29 shrub species, and 119 herbaceous species.
From red ash to silver maple, along with elm, spotted jewelweed, milkweed, solidago, bog hemp, sensitive fern, hawthorn, honeysuckle, teasel burr, goldenrod, aster, and fleabane, and such rare species as the common hackberry and soft agrimony, the Parc Marcel-Laurin woodland contains a rich variety of plant species that can be observed along the walking trails and in the woods.
Among the plant species found in the woodland is the European buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) and the Alder buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula). These invasive plants need to be eradicated because the shade cast by their foliage and their many low branches crowd out other species native to the woodland. Since 2005, thanks to an initiative to enhance the woodland, several plantings of these species have been uprooted. The initiative has also led to the cleaning up and reforestation of the woodland.