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This article first appeared in the November 27, 2013 issue of the The Low Down to Hull and Back News.External Link Reprinted with permission. Search complete list of Low Down Articles.

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Gatineau park celebrates 75th anniversary with history

By Courtney Merchand

The Gatineau Park is entrenched in history, from the Mackenzie King Estate to the Meech Creek Valley - that's the theme for the third and final weekend of presentations on the Gatineau Park Nov. 30 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The presentations are hosted by the National Capital Commission (NCC) and Friends of the Gatineau Park to celebrate the park's 75 anniversary.

Celebrating 75
CELEBRATING 75: In commemoration of their anniversary, the National Capital Commision opened its doors so the public could get a firsthand look at some of the research being conducted in Gatineau Park. LD file photo.

The presentation will be taking place at the Gatineau Park Visitors Centre and admission is free.

Two similar research presentations, each focused on different themes, have already been presented to commemorate the anniversary.

The first weekend, Nov. 16, was dedicated to the recreational benefit of Gatineau Park. Sarah Padbury discussed a University of Ottawa study that examined the environmental and recreational outcomes of participation in interpretive programs at the park, while Dr. Christopher Lemieux, from Wilfrid Laurier University, presented findings in relation to visitors' perceived health and well-being motives and benefits with visiting and experiencing Gatineau Park.

The second weekend focused on conservation of the park.

On Nov. 23, Evan Seed and Dr. Douglas King, both from Carleton University, examined the 1998 ice storm, looking at the considerable amount of damage that was caused to the Gatineau Park's forest. Their presentation focused on mapping out the dynamics of the damage and how it is still relevant in the recovering and distribution of the forest today. A presentation by Alexia Leinenweber, a biologist student at the NCC, spoke about the return of the Peregrine Falcon, a sensitive species that has earned its protection in Quebec and Canada. She said that a team monitors the birds' situation on an annual basis and, as of 2013, there have been signs of progress on the conservation front.