The T3 tram line links the Pont du Garigliano (15th arrondissement) to the Porte de la Chapelle (18th arrondissement). The 14.5-km section (9 miles) between the Porte d'Ivry (13th arrondissement) and the Porte de la Chapelle (18th arrondissement) has been in service since December 2012. With over 300,000 users daily along the line, this form of public transport has efficiently bolstered the existing service and has offered an alternative to the use of private vehicles, thus limiting air pollution. It facilitates travel between adjacent districts in Paris as well as connections with other public transport networks. Over 13,000m2 of lawns and trees have been planted along the tram route, improving living conditions on the perimeter of the capital.
The beech trees (Fagus sylvatica "Dawyck") on Rue Pierre Foncin have upright branches. The beech isthe most suitable roadside tree in some streets. Disliking both drought and full exposure to the sun, they are planted on the pavement where they enjoy the shade of the buildings for most of the day. In summer the trees keep the atmosphere cool, mostly through the release of water from the leaves, thus limiting the urban heat island effect.The fruits, called beechnuts, are protected by a spiky cap. The seeds look like long miniature chestnuts and are a popular food source among various birds (greenfinches, chaffinches, nuthatches etc.)
Organic food on the menu
The proportion of organic food in the menus offered to children in the canteens at the pre-school and primary school on Rue Pierre Foncin has been increasing for several years. In 2014, an organic component was served every day in the canteens in the 20th arrondissement, as well as seasonal fruit and vegetables. In this school restaurant the meals served to the children, like in the other catering services run by the city (crèches, school restaurants, retirement homes, social and local authority restaurants), are part of a Sustainable Food Action Plan to increase to 50% by 2020 the percentage of food stemming from organic farming, certified products, or local and seasonal foods. With nearly 30 million meals served in its restaurants each year, Paris can weigh on the quality of food and improve its ecological footprint in the process. Already more than 24% of the food served in the school canteens and 43.5% of the food served in the day-nurseries is “sustainable”, that is to say organic, Label Rouge and MSC (Marine Stewardship Council, fish from sustainable sources).
The school's brick building (visible from Avenue de la Porte de Ménilmontant) has been extended at the rear and renovated in accordance with the Paris Climate and Energy Plan, notably to improve its thermal performance.
A composting area has been set up at the bottom of the garden of the private residence opposite the school. The residents and maintenance workers of the condominium place their green waste (vegetable peelings, grass cuttings, branches etc.) in plastic containers, and the compost results from the decomposition of the waste by red worms, the soil's micro-fauna (woodlice, springtails) and microorganisms (fungi and bacteria). Rich in nutritional elements, it is used in private window boxes and the residence's flowerbeds.
From mid-January to the end of June the song of the short-toed treecreeper with its powerful, rhythmic, high pitched notes rings out from the large trees in the residence. In urban environments, this non-migratory bird finds shelter and food in old trees. Here it feasts on the many insects and spiders living in the fissured bark of the old black locust trees and lime trees. It builds its nest in holes in old trees or in gaps between the trunk and a piece of peeling bark.
The short-toed treecreeper is one of the target species of the Paris tree network, indicating the quality of this habitat: its presence here shows the richness of the environment and the point of protecting old trees.
Cross Rue des Fougères, keep left.