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Monday, July 12, 2010 - All over Canada

La Palme Verte Contest Winners: Environmentally-aware, forward-looking students provide lessons in inspiration

The winners of La Palme Verte for the best school environmental projects in Quebec were announced June 10 at the Montreal Biodome. The Intact Foundation was the major partner in the 2009-2010 edition of the contest.

Each year, the Montreal Nature Museums Foundation invites Quebec preschool, elementary and first cycle secondary school (up to grade 9) teachers to change their world by leading their students in environmental actions based in their schools.

The objective? To enhance the quality of life for students in the class and throughout the school, and, ideally, for people in the broader community. Many innovative projects were submitted, including initiatives to raise awareness of conservation, excessive consumption or composting. For example, one group of students set up a bioreactor, another planted a wildlife garden in the yard, and others made air quality the focus of their efforts.

Annie Desgranges, a Communications Advisor with Intact Insurance in Saint-Hyacinthe, was a member of the awards jury: “These teachers and students, and everyone who contributed directly or indirectly to these projects, are examples for all of us who care about the environment and want to get involved in student life. I was amazed at the breadth and originality of the projects!" said Annie.

The winning classes each received bursaries of $1,000 to sustain their projects, along with a "living trophy" contributed by the Botanical Gardens and a VIP pass for a day at the Montreal Nature Museums with a sleepover at the Biodome.

A partner since the very first edition of the competition, the Intact Foundation is committed to respecting the environment and its finite resources. It is a natural fit for the Foundation to promote environmentally responsible behaviour and to support projects such as the Palme verte.

We know by now that climate change is one of the most important challenges our industry faces. By supporting communities in preparing for long-lasting changes in weather patterns, funding green space initiatives, and supporting adaptation research, we can help communities adapt to this new reality.

Here are the winners of La Palme verte for 2010:

Category 1 (primary): Manon St-Hilaire and her Grade 5 – 6 class at Sainte-Thérèse-de-l’Enfant-Jésus School in Saint-Jérôme.


Annie Desgranges (left), Communications Advisor with Intact Insurance, and Manon Landry (right), Executive Director of the Montreal Nature Museums Foundation presented the class with the award for their project entitled Petite empreinte ira loin (A Small Footprint Can Go Far).

Category 2 (secondary): Christian Richer and his students at Polyvalente Curé-Mercure, a high school in Mont-Tremblant.


Mark K. Parson, Vice President of Public Affairs and Issues Management at HKDP Communications and Public Affairs, and Manon Landry, Executive Director of the Montreal Nature Museums Foundation (both at right) presented the Palme for the class’s project Implantation d’un bioréacteur (Setting Up a Bioreactor).

Category 3 (entire school): Daniel Lefebvre and the students of Hélène-de-Champlain Secondary School in Longueuil.


Lucie Rivest, Educational Consultant, and Manon Landry, Executive Director of the Montreal Nature Museums Foundation (both at right) presented them with the Palme verte for their project L’augmentation du goût de la vie (The Rising Taste of Living).

Category 4 (other): Teachers Hélène Montminy and Émily Lefrançois with their Grade 5 – 6 class at Madeleine-de-Verchères School in Sainte Anne-de-la-Pérade.


Benoit Charlebois (left), General Manager of Communications for Telus, and Manon Landry (right), Executive Director of the Montreal Nature Museums Foundation presented the award for a project entitled La qualité de l’air c’est notre affaire (Air Quality Is Our Business).

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