Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 85.48
Liaison Emmanuelle Jodoin
Submission Date Dec. 6, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Université de Sherbrooke
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Lucie Durand
Institutional Research Advisor
Management - Support Service
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution own or manage land that includes or is adjacent to legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance?:
Yes

A brief description of the legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance:

Mont-Bellevue Park
Since 2018, the Université de Sherbrooke and the City of Sherbrooke have been working together on a project to create, within Mont-Bellevue Park, a natural reserve recognized under the Natural Heritage Conservation Act. The project proposal is currently being studied by the Québec Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (Ministère de l’Environnement et Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MELCC)). The recognition of the protected area and the legal status of a nature reserve are expected by the end of 2019.

Adjacent to the main campus, Mont-Bellevue Park, with its 200 hectares of land including Mount Bellevue and Mount John-S. Bourque, is considered the largest urban park in the Sherbrooke region.

The park is well used and appreciated by the university community as well as by the citizens of Sherbrooke. It currently includes protected areas to ensure the conservation of its multiple ecosystems and remarkable biodiversity.

Two zones have been designated for the proposed natural reserve. They will make it possible to separate usage and use intensity within the natural reserve. A protected area where activities will be less intensive and more focused on observing the natural environment will be developed. The main activities to be practiced within that zone will be hiking, cross-country skiing, teaching and scientific research. A transition zone will also be created to allow recreational activities such as mountain biking. Within this latter zone, activities will be well monitored.
https://www.ville.sherbrooke.qc.ca/sous-site/bases-de-plein-air-urbaines/parc-du-mont-bellevue/projet-de-reserve-naturelle-du-parc-du-mont-bellevue/

Johnville Bog and Forest Park
Since 2011, the Johnville Bog and Forest Park, with its 184 hectares, recognized under the Natural Heritage Conservation Act and the Québec Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (Ministère de l’Environnement et Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MELCC)), has been permanently protected to ensure the sustainability of its natural environments.

Jointly owned by Université de Sherbrooke and Bishop's University since December 2010, they have agreed, along with their partner, Nature Eastern Townships (NET), that the lands be the object of a real and permanent easement of conservation. The easement, which binds not only the current owners but also any successor owners, prohibits activities that may have a negative impact on wetlands and forests, such as drainage, road construction or public motorized access. All recreational and educational activities intended for the general public and groups are maintained and even developed to meet the expectations of all for developed and preserved natural environments.
http://www.naturecantonsdelest.ca/tourbiere_de_johnville.html


Has the institution conducted an assessment or assessments to identify endangered and vulnerable species (including migratory species) with habitats on institution-owned or –managed land?:
Yes

Has the institution conducted an assessment or assessments to identify environmentally sensitive areas on institution-owned or –managed land?:
Yes

The methodologies used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or environmentally sensitive areas (including most recent year assessed) and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:

Mont-Bellevue Park
A conservation plan for Mont-Bellevue Park was prepared in 2007 by Corridor appalachien, a non-profit conservation organization whose mission is to protect the natural environments of the Appalachians region of southern Québec. In 2013, Destination Sherbrooke (City of Sherbrooke) produced a report including a summary characterization of the environments and species of Mont-Bellevue Park.

The identification of threatened or vulnerable species was carried out through the Centre de données sur le patrimoine naturel du Québec of the Québec Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (Ministère de l’Environnement et Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MELCC)) in conjunction with the adoption of the Act on threatened or vulnerable species and the Species at Risk Act.

Mount-Bellevue Park is designated as a unique urban park with high ecological value, including sensitive environments with high ecological value. It has also been the subject of several research and monitoring projects, notably by students from the Université de Sherbrooke.

Johnville Bog and Forest Park
A conservation plan for the Johnville Bog and Forest Park was completed in 2012 by the organization Nature Eastern Townships (NCE).

As done for Mount-Bellevue Park, the identification of threatened or vulnerable species was also undertaken through the Centre de données sur le patrimoine naturel du Québec of the Québec Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (Ministère de l’Environnement et Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MELCC)) in conjunction with the adoption of the Act on threatened or vulnerable species and the Species at Risk Act.

The Johnville Bog is one of the last open bogs in the Estrie region. For this reason, it has great conservation value. The site restoration work has been initiated in 2014. Since then, NCE has been monitoring water quality and changes in fauna and flora.


A brief description of identified species, habitats and/or environmentally sensitive areas:

Mont-Bellevue Park
Considering the urban context of the park, its ecological value is deemed high. The presence of several special-status species, the large area occupied by the forest, the diversity of forestry groups and the presence of wetlands contribute to this ecological value. Present and future human disturbances make it a sensitive environment, particularly pertaining to streams, wetlands as well as riverbanks within the park boundaries.

With regard to wildlife and plant species in a precarious situation, the inventory work confirmed the presence of the Northern Maidenhair Fern, Wild Leek, Two-Leaved Toothwort, Ostrich Fern, Butternut, Smooth Arrowwood, as well as the Wood Thrush, Canada Warbler, Eastern Wood Pewee and the Northern Dusky Salamander.

The City of Sherbrooke is also located in the Mont-Mégantic International Dark Sky Reserve (RICEMM). In this context, the conservation of Mont-Bellevue Park will help to achieve the objectives of preserving nocturnal integrity.

Johnville Bog and Forest Park
The Johnville Bog and Forest Park site includes various forest stands and wetlands, such as ponds and an ombrotrophic peat bog, a relatively rare environment in the Appalachians. The richness of these many habitats gives this park a unique character. Indeed, some inventoried species are usually found further north of the province, which gives an exceptional character to the biodiversity of the site. In addition, the ecological functions of this site are important to the fauna, flora and human communities that live by them, despite their sensitivity to the human pressures and disturbances that surround them.

The vegetation in Johnville Bog and Forest Park is very diverse with approximately 34 species of mosses and up to 400 species of vascular plants. The ecological value of the park is high because of this floral diversity.

On site, two plants species, designated as vulnerable, have been observed. They are the Blood-Root and the Ostrich Fern. In addition, three species of vascular plants and four species of vertebrates, likely to be designated as threatened or vulnerable, have also been identified. These are the White-Fringed Bog-Orchid, the Columbia Watermeal, the Clinton's Wood Fern, the Southern Bog Lemming, the Rock Vole, the Hoary Bat and the Silver-Haired Bat.


A brief description of plans or programs in place to protect or positively affect identified species, habitats and/or environmentally sensitive areas:

Mont-Bellevue Park
First, the Regroupement du Mont Bellevue, the City of Sherbrooke and the Université de Sherbrooke work together to manage and monitor the park's conservation and ecological integrity programs. Secondly, the practical work done through the bachelor's degree in ecology and environment at the Université de Sherbrooke ensures a follow-up of the environment. In addition of these actions, the conservation organization Nature Eastern Townships is responsible for managing data on environments and species. Finally, the Alliance pour la réserve naturelle du parc du Mont-Bellevue brings together several groups of Mont-Bellevue users and aims to encourage citizens participation and consolidate the various uses of the site while respecting the conservation aspects of the nature reserve project.
https://www.ville.sherbrooke.qc.ca/sous-site/bases-de-plein-air-urbaines/parc-du-mont-bellevue/projet-de-reserve-naturelle-du-parc-du-mont-bellevue/

Johnville Bog and Forest Park
The natural environment conservation organization Nature Eastern Townships manages and monitors the park's programs in close collaboration with the other owners, including the Université de Sherbrooke.

In 2011, the partners adopted a two-part conservation approach:
1. The development of a comprehensive conservation plan for Johnville Bog and Racey Creek watershed;
2. The voluntary conservation approach for private landowners adjacent to the Johnville Bog Park.

The main objective of this plan is to preserve a buffer zone at the bog, thus allowing the conservation of this unique site to continue.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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