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  • April 18, 2024

Distinction from Réseau Environnement: Michel Labrecque of the Jardin botanique honored

  • Jardin botanique
Distinction from Réseau Environnement: Michel Labrecque of the Jardin botanique honored

The 15th edition of the Salon des technologies environnementales du Québec was marked by a celebration of environmental excellence through the presentation of Distinction awards by Réseau Environnement, the largest group of environmental specialists in Québec.

Michel Labrecque and the phytoremediation of derelict land in the east end of Montréal

Among those recognized was Michel Labrecque, head of the division of research and scientific development at the Jardin botanique, winner of the Distinction Marcelle-Gauvreau for the Biodiversity sector.

Michel Labrecque was honored for his ambitious project involving brownfield phytoremediation carried out in the east end of Montreal between 2016 and 2024 – an initiative aimed at demonstrating the potential of plants in soil decontamination.

Through the introduction of a wide variety of plant species at the sites undergoing treatment, Michel Labrecque and his team considerably increased biodiversity in this part of the city of Montréal. The presence of these plants radically transformed previously sterile soils, stimulating the development of microorganism populations and creating new habitats for local wildlife.

Carrying on the legacy of environmental pioneers

In paying tribute to Michel Labrecque, who is also a researcher at the Institut de recherche en biologie végétale, Réseau Environnement continues the heritage of such pioneers as Marcelle Gauvreau (1907-1968), the first French-Canadian woman to earn a degree in natural sciences. An associate of Brother Marie-Victorin, she left a remarkable scientific legacy, contributing notably to the writing of La Flore laurentienne, a botanical record of all species native to southern Québec. In 1935 she founded École de l’Éveil (School of Awakening), thereby laying the foundations for preschool education in Québec.

The Distinction Marcelle-Gauvreau is awarded to an organization or a person working in the field of biodiversity and who’s made a remarkable contribution, in Québec, to the improvement and sound management of infrastructures in that area.

Réseau Environnement press release (In French only)

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