POINT AU ROCHE - Through research, it has been proven parks and other green-spaces can provide a positive impact in ones life. Dr. Christopher Lemieux, hopes people will utilize Point au Roche State Park for that reason.
Lemieux, who received his doctorate in Geography and Environmental Management at the University of Waterloo in Canada, participated in the Canada - U.S. Fulbright Program, a "bi-national program of educational exchange."
"I applied for [the Fulbright program] because I do work on parks and protected areas and climate change," Lemieux explained. "It basically provides an opportunity for someone like myself to go study and learn in the U.S. and just learn about different systems that are going on in the U.S."
While studying at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh last year during the exchange, Lemieux rented out a cottage on Point au Roche Road.
"I was literally right beside the state park," he explained. "I didn't know anybody in Plattsburgh so I was spending quite a bit of time hiking."
During his stay in Point au Roche, Lemieux received an e-mail from the Fulbright program about a new Eco-Leadership grant that was being offered.
"It provided an opportunity for people who were awarded a Fulbright and were on an exchange either in Canada or the U.S. ... to essentially apply for this Eco-Leadership grant," he explained. "Basically it's a way that people like myself who are living in another are and another community to basically give back to the community."
Since Lemieux was spending so much time at the park, he made contact with the Friends of Point au Roche State Park in October to see if they may be interested in partnering up for the grant.
The friends and Lemieux learned in the beginning of November they were one of only eight groups to receive a $3,700 grant, out of nearly 50 who applied.