I had heard about the man-made parks of Nuns Island, but nothing could have prepared me for the beauty and splendor of this man-made creation, Parc Lacoursiere. The entrance is so well hidden from the street that I found it quite by accident. I was looking for something to show that the parks on this island were just the regular children’s type of park. I walked in and immediately saw bull rushes standing tall out of the water and lily pads in bloom floating on the surface of a pond and I knew I would not be able to say that this was just an ordinary park. There were ducks with ducklings in plain sight everywhere, frogs could be heard croaking and birds diving out of the sky into the water and emerging with either tadpoles or small fish, or minnows in their beaks and this was only the beginning. Here in this park I was again to see squirrels and it pleased me.
As I walked down the path that circled what I thought was a small pond I realized although I could no longer see, or hear the traffic even though in reality the street was not far away. It was impossible to take a picture without getting the buildings on 3 sides of the pond as a back drop, but even they looked like they belonged here. I noticed also that there were insects here in abundance. Butterflies fluttered about pollinating the flowers. Everything seemed to be in bloom and flowering all at once and dragonflies buzzed about hunting. If you did not see the buildings you would think that you were indeed visiting a real nature wetland, or marsh. As I got to the end of what I thought was a little pond I could see that there was a little bridge going to the other end of the pond and a path leading it seemed to nowhere and my adventurous spirit led me there towards nowhere.
There was a little man-made brook where a mother duck showed me how she would protect her duckling by putting herself between me and it totally obscuring the little guy from my vision with her body. I continued walking and there in front of me stood a beautiful building entrance. Only then did I realize that I had been walking through the garden, or back yard of the tenants of the surrounding buildings. Although they all had gates and fences keeping people walking out of their private back yards, doors and stone stairs led into the park. I took a picture of the building and re-entered the park via a little path and into the more used part of the park. It was here that I saw mothers walking their babies, joggers running through the park and young children just romping about.
The paths on this side of the marsh met here and were shaded by the trees, big trees that looked and transported you to another time. A time of vast forest, where deep inside itself a marsh like this might be found hidden from the eyes of man and where nature was at its most raw and in its purest form. Where every plant, insect and animal is interdependent on each other for survival as it is meant to be in nature.
Then I saw it the plastic bottle floating in the water and I heard the sound of the water pump and I was hauled back to reality and the sober realization that this was not as nature had intended it no matter how beautiful it was and that this delicate balance would collapse if not for man.
This park is a beautiful must see if you are visiting Montreal. It is totally free and is accessible by public transportation. Nice place to picnic but please take all of your refuse with you. This is one of the best attempts to have something man-made fit into a
natural environment type of setting. This park has succeeded in creating the illusion of being in the wild and natural enviroment. This development was well thought out and nature was definitely given consideration. Take a bow all responsible for this development and the planning of ; it is indeed beautiful and a job well done.