TerraHumana Solutions is extremely pleased to announce an official collaborative launch with The Legacy Fund for the Environment. This non-profit organization is currently under the direction of Campbell Stuart, a former mayor of Montreal West and a partner in Colby Monet law firm, and their office is located in downtown Montreal. They provide resources and legal services to help citizens protect natural spaces.

“After working together on a couple of projects, it was clear that TerraHumana Solutions and The Legacy Fund for the Environment shared a solid common ground,” stated Dr Isabelle Bisson. Their approach in helping grassroots movements to conserve and protect natural habitats used different disciplines to reach their goals, but their mission was the same. The Legacy Fund for the Environment has the funding and legal expertise, while TerraHumana Solutions provides technical and ecological knowledge. Both organizations have been in negotiations during the past year, and an agreement is now in place - “This collaborative agreement with The Legacy Fund for the Environment is a big win for the citizens who are spearheading grassroots conservation projects across Quebec and Canada. Together, we will be able to provide the support and resources that grassroots conservationists need,” says Dr Isabelle Bisson.

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Everyone is excited as interns and volunteers are embarking on the first fieldwork

season of 2021. Researchers from TerraHumana Solutions are particularly excited to continue their work with Nature Hudson on another ecological assessment of a sensitive wetland (Sandy Beach) area targeted for development. The first surveys on the Sandy Beach project to be conducted by Marian MacNair and volunteers are about amphibians and birds. Later in the summer, bat and reptile surveys will also be undertaken, along with five volunteers conducting plant surveys.

The president of Terra Humana Solutions, Dr. Isabelle-Anne Bisson, interviewed many fantastic applicants for the Sandy Beach Project, and discovered that very few of them actually had field experience. Dr. Bisson was inspired and, like a good scientist, she saw an opportunity to solve a problem. The solution was to create an incubator - Terra Humana Solutions offers environment students in undergraduate programs the chance to gain valuable field experience. ‘What is missing in environmental education today is field experience,’ says Dr. Isabelle-Anne Bisson. ‘ We are filling that gap and making it a part of our mission to help talented young scientists to get good hands-on practical experience in the field.’

Continued field sampling has also started for the studies on contaminants and health impact - these are part of the ongoing project in the Kanien'kehá:ka (People of the Flint) community of Kanesatake, a Mohawk community at the confluence of the St-Lawrence River and Ottawa River. ‘As part of this important project, our intern, Nikita Bhat, will be researching the history of contamination across Indigenous communities, synthesizing and organizing it into one place. After a season of meticulously collecting field data and conducting research, we are going to piece together a broader understanding of the issue and hope to find solutions to mitigate the impact of this long-term and ongoing pollution, ’says Dr. Isabelle-Anne Bisson.

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Since the 1970s, Earth Day has brought forth environmental awareness while putting environmental concerns front and centre where they belong. Concerned citizens, adults and children alike, from all walks of life are becoming more environmentally aware and are taking action to protect the environment through grassroots initiatives - from local public marches to speaking at the United Nations. People are coming to understand that our biosphere, with its natural habitats and living organisms, is like our family - there are inseparable links between Nature herself and our own health and well-being.

To celebrate Earth Day, TerraHumana Solutions is honouring everyday people who have taken up the cause and responsibility to protect our natural environment in all itssplendour.

A group of concerned residents called Pincourt Vert had, along with other nearby municipalities, raised concerns about Rousseau Forest, which had been zoned for development just a short time ago. These citizens understood the ecological and societal importance of this natural habitat, as it was the last remaining wetland forest along the Ottawa River.

TerraHumana Solutions had the great privilege of working with a group of concerned citizens from Pincourt, whereby a mandate was given to conduct independent research as well as provide an ecosystem wetland characterization and surveys on the local flora and fauna. The Rousseau Forest is a second-growth forest of approximately 4.5 ha. located in Pincourt, on the island of Île Perrot off

the western tip of Montreal island.

Field surveys of reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals were conducted. Of the 24 bird species found, ten (all migratory) were species at risk either at the provincial or federal level. A total of 96 plant species (both vascular and non-vascular) were classified, and a large diversity of tree species was also found. Some of the flora and fauna were listed as Endangered according to the Species at Risk Act (COSEWIC 2017).

The residents of Pincourt, mobilizing with petitions and TerraHumana Solutions' independent study, were able to show the city council of Pincourt that destroying the natural habitat of the Rousseau Forest would come at a very high ecological cost. The beautiful ending to this story is that the Pincourt city council did its job by representing the people - through the will of the citizens, they came to understand why this precious resource needed to remain as a biodiverse part of Pincourt.

However, not all stories advocating for the protection of green and natural spaces meet with positive outcomes. The citizens of Hudson, Quebec answered the call to protect Sandy Beach, a wetland habitat along the Ottawa River. Nature Hudson, a group of community members dedicated to preserving the ecologically important forests and wetlands, gave TerraHumana Solutions a mandate to conduct an ecological characterization of this sensitive area. The report findings concluded that the site was of ecological significance, and the town of Hudson needed to consider revising its development plans.

Despite the public outcry and requests by citizens for the city to purchase the privately held land, this option was not considered. The developer, also the owner of this land, secured zoning rights. This three-hundred-year-old oak tree will be cut down very shortly in preparation for this development. Something very precious is about to be lost.

‘The biosphere is our home. Living things are not a commodity or a resource to be used according to their economic value. In the act of generosity, all species on this planet generate the most fundamental human needs while enriching our lives with beauty and awe. We need to reciprocate this generosity through our efforts to protect the environment, which is what celebrating Earth Day is all about,’ says Dr. Isabelle-Anne Bisson, president of TerraHumana Solutions.

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