Living in Paris and being close to nature, the impossible bet?

Contrary to what one might think, Paris is a city where nature is omnipresent, even in its most unexpected forms. The documentary “Paris, Ville Nature” follows seven passionate Parisians who live and bring nature to life daily in the capital.

The hawks of Notre-Dame, the foxes of Père Lachaise, the wild orchids of the wasteland, the picking in Vincennes or the fishing of pike in the Seine… Nearly 2,800 wild species, both plant and animal, have been observed in Paris in recent years. This wild world remains imperceptible to the large number of residents of the capital who seem to aspire to a new form of closeness with nature.

Video length: 41 seconds

Trailer “Paris, City of Nature”

© France 3 PIDF

“Paris, Ville Nature” takes us into the heart of nature in Paris, through the crossover images of seven Parisians who manage to maintain a close association with it despite the city’s obstacles. Each of these personalities makes it possible, through their activity, to discover an aspect of nature in Paris.

  • Emily Bynes – nature painter

You can meet Emilie at a street corner in Butte Montmartre, pencil in hand, drawing a wonderful intertwined nipple near Sacré-Coeur, or in the lemon tree at Jardin des Abbesses.

For Émilie, it all started in high school when she trained at the Museum of Natural History. She secretly attracts crustaceans there, which does not fail to attract the attention of the museum staff, who encourage her in this direction. She perfected herself in painting during her professional experience at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris and at the Aquarium de la Porte Dorée, eventually becoming a nature designer.

Since 2016, Emily has opened an exhibition workshop in Les Abbesses, the only Parisian art space dedicated to scientific painting. In addition to learning to draw, this initiative aims to raise public awareness of environmental protection, which is one of the artist’s daily battles.

  • Nicholas Davy – Animal Photographer

A young, laid-back 30-year-old, an engineer by training, is an amateur photographer with a passion for wildlife. You just have to look at his Instagram account to see it. This one is full of great shots of birds, squirrels, rabbits, and even insects.

Being a Parisian his whole life, he naturally resorted to animals that he could observe around his home, in forests and urban parks. Through his photographs, he reveals to the general public some living creatures that inhabit the capital but are still invisible to ordinary humans.

During his practice, he was able to adapt to this urban environment and understand its limits in order to make it a force: “I am not claiming that the city is a perfect playground for nature photography, but you can use its properties to get very interesting photos that are sometimes difficult to do elsewhere.”

  • Masami Charlotte LaVault – gardener

Over the past ten years, we have seen growth on the rooftops or in industrial wastelands, and the urban gardens in which we grow, plant and harvest. Masami, the 30-year-old Franco-Japanese winner in 2017 in the “Parisculteurs” competition, is a little special: it is the only one where only flowers are grown.

This 1,200 square meter garden hidden behind Belleville Cemetery is home to more than 200 different species including black seed, cosmos, calendula or even snapdragon… and Masami grows all of these without pesticides or fertilizers, according to the principles of biodynamics. . Once harvested, in order to favor short circuits, she sells her flowers directly to her customers (florists and individuals), by bike or at markets near her flower farm.

At the heart of Masami’s approach is the environmental issue, she chose this activity to be in line with her values, as opposed to those associated with her previous job as an industrial designer which she had practiced in her previous life in London.

  • Fernand DeRossen – Song Hunter

Blackbird, big tit, winter wren, porcupine… Many types of birds can be observed in Paris. Is it still necessary to have the required knowledge and a sharp ear?

Fernand is an acoustic composer and volunteer member of the Association for the Protection of Birds in Ile-de-France. This invisible, lunar-looking fifty-year-old crisscrosses the parks and woods of Paris in order to observe the capital’s birds. In addition to observing her, his obsession is to record her. More than just a job, it’s his passion, he has published more than two hundred works on the sounds of nature, including the albums “Seas & Oceans” and “Chants d’oiseaus” that remain to this day “golden records” on the sounds of nature in France.

His favorite place to record and listen to these songs? The Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, one of the “green lungs” of Paris. “In the Potts region, there are more uncultivated wastelands than in other Parisian parks where there are mainly meadows. Here the animals have enough to eat and can hide, they are the favorite teacher of birds, you can observe at least 42 species. »

  • Aurélien Fiaux and Camille Reichers – Hunters

Over the years, the Seine has seen an increasing number of fishing rods appear on its Parisian banks. They and the fishermen they keep come to indulge in a new trendy pastime: street fishing, literally: “the art of city fishing.”

City dwellers continue to emulate this activity, given the diversity of fish currently found in the Seine, thus breaking the epinal image of people who typically engage in this activity. Pike, zander, roach or even perch, there are now about thirty species of fish in the waters of the capital and this number is increasing thanks to the improvement in water quality.

Aurélien Fiaux and Camille Reichers, established Parisian fishermen, decided to create the first club in the capital: the Naturlish Academy. With this club, located on the edge of the Canal de l’Ourcq, Camille and Aurélien want to practice fishing that respects the environment during which fish are systematically thrown into the water. Also, unlike traditional fishing, the lure used by Naturlish members is a soft fish-shaped bait.

  • Nadine Lahoud – Rooftop Farmer

In 2009, Nadine left her position at a major craft store to create the Veni Verdi Association. This structure aims to introduce children to nature in Parisian schools, create social connections and plant gardens in urban areas to work on our environment, society and economy.

A passion arose when she was harvesting green beans in a communal garden not far from her home. A child came to help him pick them up and said: “Hey, I didn’t know French fries grew that way.” “There I thought something had to be done.”

Nadine’s wish is to see urban farms flourish in every district of the capital, to make all Parisians a garden and make every child Passionate about the planet. The Veni Verdi was recognized as a public good and was awarded the Medal of the Unions of the City of Paris. However, at first, no one believed in his project: At first, I had to invest my personal savings because all the doors were closed to me. With the help of the director of Henri Matisse College (Paris 20), I installed a garden on the roof of the facility without administrative permission.”

  • Christophe de Hoody – Selector

Kristof has always been an urban picker and a nature enthusiast. He loves to go daily to the Bois de Vincennes, one of his favorite attractions, both summer and winter, to pick and gather all the plants and ingredients he needs in order to recover and feed himself.

He made it his job and through his company, he regularly organizes group outings in order to impart knowledge of wild plants and their uses to as many people as possible.

Every week, these are sold out, which shows the enthusiasm of Parisians on these topics. With this approach, the desire of the 30-year-old botanist by training and founder of “Chemins de la Nature”, is to bring botanical heritage back into fashion and let everyone recognize this medicinal and nutritional richness. surrounds us.

Paris Ville Nature comes in three formats:

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