Do you recognize this man?
You may have noticed him in the D'Arts et de rêves Cultural Park: he is the one who has been "volunteering" there since last year,
The photos of Luc Giguère were taken by Natasha Evoy, all the others were taken by Luc Giguère.
Who is Luc Giguère and how did he end up here...
Luc Giguère knew he didn't want to spend his life in the city so he chose Sutton about 40 years ago and has loved living here ever since. Luc likes the beauty of the rural landscape, the calm environment, the kindness of the people: it is here that he met his wife and that they raised three beautiful children, all of whom have set up house in the region. Luc worked in various fields, including the restaurant business, food retailing, and real estate and has always enjoyed taking the time to discover what was beautiful, especially through the lens of his camera.
The Cultural Park and Luc
Luc has been exploring the park since its creation. That is how he came to notice, in the spring of 2021, a flower near the bridge that he did not know; he found it beautiful, and bent down to admire it and take a picture of it. Suddenly, he heard someone telling him the name of the flower: it was Nicole Côté who knows the park and its vegetation extremely well since she is the visionary to whom we owe D'Arts et de rêves.
One thing led to another and Nicole told Luc that the organization could not find a full-time employee to take care of the grounds, even though D'Arts et de rêves had obtained a grant from Emploi Québec. Luc who knows nearly every nook and cranny of the park as he has had many hours of pleasure walking around it, admiring the works of art, taking pictures... spontaneously offers to mow the lawn for Nicole, then and there.
Luc and the lawnmower
Luc doesn't know the big Kubota lawnmower, so Nicole gives him a few basic instructions: how to start, accelerate, brake, position himself on the slopes... Luc quickly grasps it all, even though he's never ridden this beast, and ventures into the park. If you know the place, you are well aware that there are lots of trails, curves, slopes, rest areas... all places that one must work through with care.
Many hours later, Luc has circled the property and is back at home base. Nicole is surprised; she didn't expect Luc to do so much, especially since it was on a whim that he had offered his services on this beautiful spring day. Luc on the other hand knows that when he commits to doing something, he does it. Nicole told him that they could have someone to take care of landscaping but that this person could not commit to the hours required to maintain the beauty of the trails. Luc, now retired, said to himself "why not..." and by the summer of 2021, he had assumed full responsibility for the park's trails.
How long does it take to mow the lawn and maintain the trails?
- With some exceptions, mowing the lawn is a weekly task that takes a solid five hours.
- This work is done from mid-May up until Thanksgiving, which represents about 20 lawnmower rides for Luc, if you multiply that by five, that's about 100 hours of volunteer work!
D'Arts et de rêves is still searching, unfortunately in vain, to fill the position for the maintenance of the park. Luc once again comes to the rescue and offers his services, still on a volunteer basis, but this year he is doing a little more for the park in which he loves to walk, rain or shine. When he mows the lawn, he notices that some shrubs need to be trimmed, that some tree branches have fallen or that others are in danger of falling, which could be dangerous for the people who enjoy this park open seven days a week from dawn to dusk.
And there is this little corner of paradise that has been captivating Luc’s imagination for a while now…
Near the creek, on the way to the agora, there are huge river willows, at least 150 years old, if not older; there are many such trees in Quebec. Luc feels, as he explores the area and looks up, that he is in a "cathedral": this place is a natural wonder.
Luc had already spoken to Nicole about this area and suggested that it be cleaned up and turned it into a place to rest, observe, meditate. Henri Lamoureux, co-founder of D'Arts et de rêves, had also seen the potential of this space under the trees.
This spring, Luke submitted a plan to Nicole to enhance the "cathedral":
- Clean up the area under the trees, a chore of about 10 hours that Luc undertook all by his lonesome self.
- Level out the slope by spreading tree branches and shrubs, another chore, about five hours, that Luke gladly took on.
- Hire a tree trimmer to give the willows a facelift, remove dead branches, do a bit of pruning, and ensure space for future willows... Nicole spontaneously said that she would even pay out of her own pocket for the services of a tree trimmer because she could already visualize the transformation of the area.
- Carry and spread mulch to make the pedestrian area more walkable and prevent people from slipping when the ground gets muddy: again several more hours of work for Luc.
Natasha Evoy next to the huge willows.
The sky seen through the treetops.
Young willows in the making.
The cathedral has slowly taken shape. It is a contemplative half-moon shaped place that is reached by a small path.
Path leading to the cathedral.
View as you leave the cathedral.
If we give ourselves permission to dream, we can easily imagine several possibilities to give life to this area near the willows: a bench where one could relax, a concrete table with benches and even a chess set, works of art here and there. These dreams are conceivable and could easily be realized, in the short, medium, or long term, only time will tell...
Thank you Luc for all the hours you put into maintaining the trails of the cultural park. Thank you for seeing the potential of this "cathedral" and ensuring that vision became a reality.
Your volunteering encourages us all to help in any way we can.