Eco Echo looks for community support to back visionary plan in Wakefield, Quebec

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by admin on March 2, 2011

The Editor,

An open letter to the residents of La Peche:

“Don’t it always seem to go, That you don’t know what you’ve got, Till it’s gone, They paved paradise, And put up a parking lot!”

Joni Mitchell’s lyrics for Big Yellow Taxi are heartbreaking for La Peche residents contemplating the full impact of a 100-acre industrial park. A significant portion is proposed for forty acres east of Highway 105, home to the non-profit Outaouais Environmental Campus (Eco Echo). These rolling fields frame the historic Hall Cemetary and provide access for thousands of visitors annually.

Years of planning, organization, investment, consultation, summer nature camps for kids, permaculture and tree-planting workshops and family cultural events, have made Eco Echo a major asset to the region. Our visionary plan calls for a world-class environmental education center supports the local economy by teaching skills and sharing knowledge for a healthy, sustainable future. And we deserve the municipality’s support to implement it properly.

In just three years, Eco Echo has enriched our unique, diverse and vibrant community.  The La Peche Organic Community Orchard is one of the high-value partners working with Eco Echo to improve life in the Gatineau.

We share your concerns the municipality’s plans would ruin Eco Echo’s potential for attracting tourists and students to educational conferences, music, dance and theatre performances in the unique quarry amphitheatre, interactive education programs, hiking and nature walks. Opportunities for sustainable local employment and tax revenue through eco-tourism and cultural tourism will be lost forever if the land is paved for an industrial park.

Heartfelt thanks to everyone who’s spoken out for Eco Echo’s vision of a sustainable green economy in the Gatineau! Join hundreds of neighbors who are taking a stand for a better future.

Friend us on Facebook, visit www.ecoecho.ca to keep up with our events and contact Coun. Louis Rompre (Ward 6) at lrompre@villelapeche.ca or 819-459-3233 to insist on a referendum.

Eric Corneau

La Peche, Quebec

Ed. note: The letter writer is president and co-founder of the Outaouais Environmental Campus.