A national park is created to protect a region’s representative or unique natural environments and landscapes. These areas must also be highlighted through the interpretation of natural and cultural heritage and extensive outdoor activities. Conservation issues arise from the search for balance between the protection and accessibility of these protected areas.
Located in a plain fragmented by urban development and agriculture, Parc national du Mont-Saint-Bruno plays a leading role in the conservation and protection of the floristic heritage of one of the Montérégian hills in the St. Lawrence lowlands.
The park is also one of the smallest in terms of area, and yet its attendance accounts for close to 18% of the total number of visits to the Québec parks network. The park’s geographical location and the urban context in which it exists make this territory very popular for both day and night visits. Constant vigilance is therefore needed to ensure that environmental protection regulations are respected.
Finally, the park is an important refuge for several rare plants since it is one of the last forests in the Greater Montréal area, and once rich in biodiversity.
To address conservation issues, the first step is to know the territory well. All the information is compiled in the park’s Knowledge Synthesis, which brings together everything that is known about the territory’s natural environment and history. This document is updated periodically to incorporate all the new data from knowledge acquisition activities.
To take concrete actions to enrich our knowledge and properly manage the environment, we are currently working on the development of the park’s conservation plan. It identifies and prioritizes all the conservation issues and the actions required to address the issues identified.
Finally, the park has a protection plan that identifies and frames the issues in terms of regulation enforcement.
Unique in North America, this fern grows in the rich soil of maple stands.
70% of Québec plants are found at Parc national du Mont-Saint-Bruno.
Due to the destruction of its habitat, this fern has become rare, even obtaining the legal status of a threatened species in Québec. Since 1999, work has been done at the park by Ms. Andrée Nault from the Montréal Biodome to better document the broad beech-fern situation, and to put a monitoring program in place to gain a better understanding of the dynamics of this little-known fern.
A count of fronds (leaves), classified by size and reproductive status, and a fertility estimate were conducted. It seems that the park’s colony, divided into three populations including over 28,000 fronds, is mature and very vigorous, obtaining a superior quality rating.